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Meat processors up in arms over dioxin claim

Hungarian pork processors and packagers are considering suing the Hungarian Pork Breeders Association for financial losses, claiming that the discovery of carcinogenic dioxins in meat abroad has unjustifiably triggered the accusation that meat imported to Hungary from abroad contains the banned additive, national daily Népszava reported on Thursday.

The meat processors suspect that the motive of domestic producers in raising the issue is less than straightforward and aimed at putting up an obstacle to foreign meat imports, said the paper. Without foreign meat purchases Hungarian processors would neither have enough raw material to satisfy the export market for packaged meat nor to keep up with domestic demand, said the paper. Tainted fodder was already discovered by animal safety authorities in Holland last October. Since then more than 600 pork farms were put under quarantine in Holland, Belgium and Germany after the dioxin was discovered in Belgian pet food, as daily Magyar Hírlap reported. But no pork has been released from those quarantined facilities since, and the question regarding tainted meat has not arisen. Official checks in Hungary are strict and examinations of imported meat to test for dioxin have been thorough, noted the paper.