Chinese mitten crab up for grabs again as MPs overturn ban

The ban on catching the Chinese mitten crab in polluted waters should be scrapped from April 1 despite the risk of contamination, according to a clear majority of MPs.

The previous cabinet introduced the ban in polluted waters after fears that the crabmeat was contaminated with cancer-causing dioxins. The crab lives in fresh water but can tolerate and take in heavy metals such as mercury and other toxins.

The cabinet wants to maintain the ban because of the health risks and junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma has said the risk to health derived from eating the crab outweighs the economic benefits.

However, MPs say a label on the product would be sufficient to warn consumers about the risks eating the crab may bring.

Labour, D66, the Socialists and pro-animal PvdD voted against lifting the ban.

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