EU investigates banned hormones in food products

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soft drinks, European union, Coca-cola, Belgium

The European Union said on Tuesday it was investigating a growing
food scare in several member nations surrounding the discovery of
synthetic hormones in soft drinks and pork products.

The European Union said on Tuesday it was investigating a growing food scare in several member nations surrounding the discovery of synthetic hormones in soft drinks and pork products.

EU spokeswoman Beate Gminder said experts would meet to discuss the latest announcement by the Belgian Federal Food Safety Agency, FAVV, that traces of MPA were found in samples of glucose syrup sent to soft drink makers in Belgium.

MPA, or medroxyprogresterone acetate, is permitted as a growth hormone for animals in the United States and Australia but is banned in the 15-nation EU. In humans, it is used in birth control pills and in hormone replacement therapy. The same hormone was found in pig feed delivered to farms in the Netherlands last week.

"The MPA hormone was discovered in food and feed,"​ Gminder said."We don't know for sure but it probably involves Germany, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium."

The Belgian agency said in a statement that traces had been found in two out of 21 samples taken at a waste disposal company, Bioland, which had previously filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Dutch-owned company, based in Arendonk, Belgium, also has a licence to produce liquid sugars and animal feed. Belgian authorities are investigating charges that medical waste containing MPA got mixed into the syrup. Bioland also allegedly used the same hormone in pig feed additives. The two positive samples were taken from deliveries made more than a year ago, FAVV said on Tuesday, adding that soft drinks made from the syrup were "no longer in circulation."

The agency said the samples were discovered at two soft drink companies, but it refused to identify them. In a statement, Coca-Cola Belgium, which makes and markets its Coke, Fanta, Sprite and Minute Maid fruit juices in Belgium and Luxembourg, said it did not buy additives from Bioland. "None of our beverages contain or have contained any ingredient supplied by the company Bioland,"​ the company said.

Related topics: Policy

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