If you haven’t done so already, you can cross Irish pork off the list of foods that are safe to eat. This week, police are investigating the contamination of pork from 10 Irish farms with alarmingly high levels of cancer-causing dioxins. The contamination has forced Dublin to recall all products made from Irish pigs.
So far, we know that the farms all used pig feed they bought from Millstream Power Recycling in County Carlow—a company which recycles food products to make animal feed.
According to Paddy Rogan, Ireland’s chief veterinary adviser, only a few pigs at the 10 contaminated farms have been killed so far, but eventually, all of them will have to be killed to that they can’t enter the food chain.
Though Irish authorities say that 490 farms are officially dioxin-free, the killing of pigs and the sale of pork are still prohibited. In the meantime, the government will try to determine how widespread the contamination is.
Dioxins are environmental pollutants that are formed in various ways, including combustion, chlorine bleaching, and manufacturing processes. Accordingly, they are often present in industrial waste. Most of the dioxins that people are exposed to are eaten—with animal fats accounting for more than 95% of it.
This is one more reason why tighter environmental regulations need to be implemented now. GW Bush’s midnight (de)regulations that loosen controls over clean air and clean water directly affect the food we eat. If we don’t want to consume poisons, let’s make sure we’re not releasing them into our environment.