Home Page
 
News 06 Mar 13

West Balkans Hatch Joint Strategy on Toxic Milk

Western Balkan ministers have adopted a regional strategy to handle the furor over toxin levels in milk, which have rattled consumers in several countries.

BIRN
Belgrade

Following a meeting on Tuesday in Belgrade, agriculture ministers of Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia agreed a regional strategy to ensure better quality controls of milk.

The strategy envisages tighter control of the system of feeding cattle and better conditions for storing milk.

“Every country will have its own controls, but we will exchange evidence and experiences and react jointly,” Serbia's Agriculture Minister Goran Knezevic said.

All four countries have withdrawn suspect products after scientific analysis in Vienna showed that the amount of the aflatoxin M1 in milk produced by two Croatian dairies, Dukat and Vindija, was higher than the legally permitted limit of 0.05 per cent per kilo.

The two companies blamed the presence of the aflotoxin in milk on fungus in concentrated animal food.

Aflatoxins, toxic substances formed by a fungus in foodstuffs, are considered potentially carcinogenic, which is why EU member states and Serbia's neighbours insist on low permitted levels of only 0.05 per kilo.

The Serbian government raised the maximum allowed concentration of aflatoxins to 0.5 micrograms on February 28, claiming that the new level presented no risk to health.

However, on Monday, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the permitted level of aflatoxin in milk will be cut from 0.5 to 0.05 micrograms per kilo over the next 15 days.

No other country from the region followed Serbia's example. The others said they would stick to EU food standards, which permit levels of alfatoxin of only 0.05 per kilo.

“We didn’t consider lifting the level of alfatoxin as it would harm what we agreed with the EU,” Macedonia's agriculture minister Ljupco Dimovski said.

His Bosnian colleague, Mirko Sarovic, said better regional cooperation would solve the issue of toxin in milk.

“Is reasonable that tension exists. We are all taking measures to solve this issue, as are our colleagues in the region, ” Sarovic maintained.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Headlines:

us-official-kicks-off-macedonia-visit-after-violence-04-30-2017
30 Apr 17

US Official Visits Macedonia After Parliament Violence

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Yee starts a two-day visit to Macedonia on Sunday, with the country still shaken by the attacks on MPs inside parliament.

28 Apr 17

Albania MPs Elect Speaker Meta as President

28 Apr 17

Sketches of the Balkans

Premium Selection

romania-s-slow-preparation-for-eu-presidency-alarms-experts-04-27-2017
28 Apr 17

Romania’s Slow Preparation for EU Presidency Alarms Experts

Experts are concerned by the slow pace of preparations in Bucharest for Romania’s EU Council presidency in 2019, when it will have to oversee thousands of high-profile events. 

croatian-islanders-fight-to-preserve-golden-beach-04-27-2017
28 Apr 17

Croatian Islanders Fight to Preserve Golden Beach

After the government scrapped an unpopular concession given to company over Zlatni Rat beach, islanders on Brac say they will fight on to ensure such precious resources remain in the hands of the community.

Latest News from the Balkans

28 Apr 17

Albania MPs Elect Speaker Meta as President