Irish Government Dioxin Fears: Withdrawal of Pork Products: An cautious over reaction?

The Irish Government made a decision on Sunday 7th December following concerns regarding the presence of dioxins in pork tissue. The exact source of entry into the food chain is unknown, but may be part of a contaminated food stuff for the animals

The levels of dioxin in foodstuffs is unlikely to have any effect on human health, however all products have been withdrawn on a precautionary basis.

Dioxins are basically fat soluble chemicals which at high doses can have effects including chloracne, made famous by “spot” diagnosis of President Viktor Yushchenko. Professor Saurat, interviewed by Reuters said

“There is no doubt whatsoever that this was a very serious case of dioxin poisoning … there is no other way that that amount could have got into his body by accident,”

Yushenko’s facial appearance still clearly bears the hallmarks of chloracne, the charecteristic facial appearance that occurs in Dioxin poisioning.

Viktor Yushenko

The other notable dioxin incident is was following an industrial accident in Serveso, a town north of Milan, Italy. Over 250,000 people were at risk of exposure to exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-pdioxin (TCDD). The toxic effects of dioxins are still not fully understood, however a study by the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded

“A toxic and carcinogenic risk to humans after high TCDD exposure is supported by the results of this study.”

We await further information from the Irish Government.

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