MPs return from holiday early to discuss contaminated egg scandal

Political party spokesmen on farming will return from their summer breaks early next week to debate the growing egg crisis amid further confusion about the timeline of the scandal.

A majority of MPs has summoned health minister Edith Schippers to answer questions about the affair, which is set to cost the Dutch egg industry €150m.

In particular, MPs want to know more about what happened to the tip sent to Dutch food safety board NVWA at the end of last year. Originally described as a ‘vague’ report, Schippers has now admitted that it expressly mentioned ChickFriend, the Dutch company thought to be at the heart of the scandal.

However, the tip was not registered as a matter for the regulators but as a possible crime. It is unclear if a criminal investigation actually started.

Consequences

Meanwhile, the scandal is costing the industry upwards of €150m in special measures and lost earnings. So far 1.5 million hens have been slaughtered and tens of millions of eggs destroyed, the AD said.

Ministers have also urged banks to be generous towards poultry farmers who run into financial trouble because of the scandal. The tax office has also been told to give farmers more time to pay their bills if necessary.