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Brussels, 28 March 2008

Mozzarella dioxin contamination contained in Italy

The Italian Minister of Health today assured the European Commission that the Italian authorities are taking further measures to prevent the entrance into the EU market of dairy products containing higher than the permissible levels of dioxin, following the incident with dioxin-contaminated mozzarella cheese in the region of Campania.

The Commission has been informed that controls in Campania have been intensified, that further inspections are carried out in the establishments where dioxin was found with the purpose of trace-back and recall action, which has already began, and that systematic checks are performed in all dairy establishments located in Campania, with a particular focus on the Provinces of Caserta, Napoli and Avellino.

The Italian authorities have requested the support of the Commission to identify the laboratory network which will carry out the specific tests. The two sides are also engaged in further technical discussions to refine the control programme.

The Commission is satisfied with the progress made and continues its intensive contacts with the Italian authorities. Taking into account the information given by the Italien government today there is no reason for further action at EU level.

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