Published On: Wed, Dec 10th, 2014

Dioxin meat for Christmas

AbattoirWILLEMSTAD – The people of Curaçao are getting ready for a Christmas dinner with dioxin pork. This is according to Edwin Timmer in an article published in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Seventeen of the eighteen samples collected from pigs bred on the island, showed dangerously high levels of the disease-causing dioxin. Nevertheless, the Veterinary Service of Curaçao decided to just let the abattoir continue with the slaughter of the pigs. The Veterinary Service was not able to comment on how much dioxin the Curaçaoans will get inside their body.

According to the Minister of Public Health, Environment & Nature, Ben Whiteman, it is not a major problem because the abattoir removes fat, kidneys and liver. That’s where the dioxin accumulates.

Also the head of the Veterinary Service defends the information fed to the people about meat from infected animals: "Farmers are now stuck with theses pigs. In December there is always a high demand for meat in relation to the holidays,” said Arnold Dwarkasing in a local newspaper. "We want to prevent people to slaughter pigs themselves, because then you have absolutely no control of it.”

The remarkable laxity is not accepted by anyone. “This cannot be!” Says Independent MP Omayra Leeflang. “Minister Whiteman endangers the health of the community.” In Europe when there was a dioxin crises, such as in 1999 in Belgium and in 2003 in Germany, many thousands of animals were culled as a precaution and store shelves were emptied.

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