following the "dioxin in food' scare in the country, the Belgium government has confirmed its plans to withdraw and destroy pork products with more than 20 per cent fat content held in slaughterhouses and storage depots in the country and overseas. The measure is related only to products originating from 233 suspect pig farms that were added to the government blacklist, a spokesman for Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said. However, the government said this would apply only to goods produced until July 23 and said it would buy goods at eight per cent of the market price.
Earlier, the European Commission said Belgian authorities had told them they were considering withdrawal of pork products. The dioxin crisis, which dominated Belgian politics throughout June, took a new twist with Verhofstadt's government admitting that the animal feed, potentially contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical dioxin, might have been delivered to 233 pig farms in February and March. The government had previously said the suspect animal feed had been delivered to farms only in the last two weeks of January.