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Suspect dioxin contaminated animal feed detained in Canada

Thursday, February 13, 2003

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking action to detain U.S.-origin zinc oxide and livestock feed products that are contaminated with dioxin. A limited number of shipments of zinc oxide from the United States for livestock feed use in Canada have been identified as a source of contamination.

The CFIA took immediate action by detaining affected zinc oxide and livestock feed products identified through traceback procedures, based on information received from U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late January.

Traceback and detention activities continue, including the removal of targeted livestock feed products containing the affected zinc oxide. Feed mills and targeted livestock producers that have received contaminated product are being identified and contacted with the assistance of the affected companies.

A finding of elevated dioxin levels in random sampling of U.S. catfish initiated the original investigation that traced the contamination to a source of zinc oxide used to manufacture fish feed. Recent international scientific information indicates dioxin is present in the environment at background levels, but testing for dioxin in Canada to date has not identified any dioxin at elevated levels in the food supply from this particular source of contamination.

The CFIA is targeting its monitoring as a precautionary measure, and test results will be shared with Health Canada for a human health risk assessment. The CFIA is working with Health Canada to review the available information and determine whether further action is required.

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