THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — Two Dutch disinfection companies were Wednesday found liable for a 2017 tainted egg scandal that swept Europe and caused tens of millions of euros in damages, a local court said.
The court’s judgment comes more than two and a half years after the scare over eggs contaminated with fipronil, a banned insecticide potentially harmful to humans in high doses.
Some 120 poultry farmers dragged companies Chickfriend and Chickclean to court for damages in the aftermath of the food fright that saw millions of eggs being pulled from supermarket shelves and more than three million chickens slaughtered.
“Chickfriend and Chickclean have not fulfilled their agreements with poultry farmers to fight blood lice and are liable,” the Arnhem court said.
“The owners of the lice control (company) knew that the pesticide Dega-16 contained fipronil and that the use of this biocide to control lice is prohibited,” the court said in a statement.
Chickfriend and Chickclean supplied farmers in the Netherlands and Belgium with a disinfectant it claimed was natural, duping farmers into believing that it was based on eucalyptus and menthol.
The damage to poultry farmers “is as a result of Chickfriend and Chickclean’s use of fipronil,” the court said.
The court said individual damages to be paid to poultry farmers would be determined in court at a later stage.
Two Chickfriend and Chickclean executives were also arrested in August 2017 and later released pending trial.
The fipronil scare made its way as far as Hong Kong and affected 25 countries in Europe.
© Agence France-Presse