Fluoride Action Network

Fipronil: Accused in Belgium’s biggest-ever food fraud trial sentenced

June 4th, 2021 | By By Alan Hope, The Brussels Times
Location: Belgium
Industry type: Pesticides

Note from Fluoride Action Network:
Info on Fipronil; Structural formula of Fipronil:

Pest control is a major problem on battery farms. © Farm Sanctuary

Two men and one woman accused of being at the basis of Belgium’s biggest-ever food fraud have been sentenced by a court in Antwerp.

The three were among seven accused and four companies charged with using the insecticide Fipronil in the cleaning of poultry farms. The pollution that was caused as a result led to the destruction of two million hens and 77 million eggs that were polluted with the chemical.

Fipronil, also known as Fluocyanobenpyrazole, is commonly used in flea control products for pets, and for cockroach traps in homes. It can also be used as pest control on commercial turf and golf courses.

The chemical is classified by the World Health Organisation as a Class II moderately hazardous pesticide. It has been implicated in colony collapse disorder, in which entire hives of bees die off suddenly.

The scandal in Belgium began when in 2017, Fipronil was discovered in hen’s eggs intended for human consumption.

The problem was traced back to a company based in Zandhoven, Agro Remijsen, run by Patrick Remijsen but set up in the name of his wife Christine. The company had used Fipronil to wipe out pests in batteries used by laying hens, which is strictly forbidden.

Hundreds of poultry farms in Belgium and the Netherlands – where another company was also using Fipronil – had to close down, cull their hens and destroy all eggs. Some of those farms are still trying to recover from the losses.

Remijsen, the court heard, failed to inform the poultry farmers of the contents of the product he was using, which was indeed effective in controlling pests, were it not for the small problem of contamination with a banned product.

According to witnesses, he told prospective customers the product his company used was reinforced with menthol and eucalyptus.

At trial, Remijsen himself was sentenced to three years in prison, two of them suspended. In normal circumstances, he will not have to serve a day in prison. The prosecution had asked for four years, as well as three years for his wife and for the main customer for his product. The two co-accused were each sentenced to 18 months suspended.

*Original article online at https://www.brusselstimes.com/news/business/172633/accused-in-belgiums-biggest-ever-food-fraud-trial-sentenced/

See also:

March 3, 2021 – Gov’t won’t pay damages in poison egg scandal, court rules

June 20, 2019 – Food safety checks in Netherlands insufficient: Dutch Safety Board

June 25, 2018 – Food safety not a priority for Dutch farmers, gov’t in fipronil scandal: report

June 12, 2018 – Thousands of fipronil contaminated Dutch eggs in German supermarkets

May 29, 2018 – More Dutch eggs contaminated with fipronil

Dec 14, 2017 – Poultry farmers demand millions from Dutch food authority over poison egg crisis

Sept 12, 2017 – More money for Dutch food safety auth. after contaminated egg scandal

Sept 5, 2017 – Fipronil contaminated eggs found in 45 countries

Aug 28, 2017 – Claim organization to help farmers hit in poison egg scandal

Aug 24, 2017 – Food safety auth. under fire in parliamentary debate on egg crisis

Aug 24, 2017 – Supermarkets recall waffles, cookies in poison eggs scandal

Aug 18, 2017 – Fipronil contamination: French supermarkets recall Dutch waffles

Aug 17, 2017 – Dutch parliament cuts summer break short to debate contaminated eggs crisis

Aug 17, 2017 – Dutch food safety auth. tipped off about fipronil contamination last year: Health Min. confirms

Aug 15, 2017 – Suspects in contaminated eggs scandal remanded into custody

Aug 15, 2017 – Economic Sec. to step down on Sept. 1st amidst poison egg scandal

Aug 14, 2017 – Suspects in poison eggs scandal to be arraigned Tuesday

Aug 11, 2017 – European Commission to organize summit over toxic eggs crisis

Aug 11, 2017 – Three Dutch suspected in fiiponil scandal

Aug 10, 2017 – Raids in Netherlands, Belgium in fipronil investigation

Aug 10, 2017 – Nov ’16 fipronil report had nothing to do with eggs: Dutch food auth.

Aug 9, 2017 – Fipronil in Dutch eggs since 2016: Belgian minister

Aug 9, 2017 – Around 10 million eggs recalled in fipronil scandal

Aug 8, 2017 – Dutch food safety authority tests chicken meat for fipronil

Aug 7, 2017 – More eggs contaminated with fipronil; egg-containing products safe

Aug 4, 2017 – German supermarkets recall eggs over Dutch fipronil scandal

Aug 3, 2017 – Poison eggs debacle cost supermarkets millions

Aug 2, 2017 – Dutch food safety authority accused of fear mongering with eggs warning

Aug 2, 2017 – More eggs contaminated with fipronil; maybe sold for over a year

Aug 1, 2017 – Poultry farmers hold Barneveld company liable for toxic substance in eggs

Aug 1, 2017 – Toxic substance in eggs triggers public health warning

July 27, 2017 – Dozens of Dutch egg companies closed over toxic substance

July 24, 2017 – Seven Dutch poultry companies closed over toxic substance