BERLIN — The German agriculture minister presented proposals Friday aimed at tightening controls on the production of livestock feed following a scandal in which high levels of dioxin were found in poultry and pork products.
“We need to raise the security standards,” the minister, Ilse Aigner, said during a news conference.
Ms. Aigner, a member of the governing Christian Social Union party, has in recent days come under pressure from the opposition Greens and Social Democrats to resign over what they claimed was her poor handling of the crisis, which led to the temporary closing of thousands of farms, the slaughtering of livestock and import bans by some countries.
But Ms. Aigner said Friday that she had no intention of giving up her job. “My office took all the steps that we could,” she told reporters. She acknowledged that she could have “perhaps done more to communicate” the scale of the contamination.
The German authorities last week closed 4,700 farms, though they later reopened most of them. A total of 396 farms were still closed Friday, awaiting the results of dioxin tests.
Products made with contaminated German eggs reached stores in Britain, and contaminated pork was exported to neighboring Poland and the Czech Republic, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Slovakia imposed a ban earlier this week but later lifted it. South Korea and China have maintained their bans on German pork and poultry imports.
The minister’s plan entails compulsory tests for animal feed producers as well as tighter sanctions, including publishing failed test results on the Internet. The ministry also wants animal feed producers to separate oils and fats for use in industrial purposes from those in animal feed — which the European Commission has also suggested. Such separation is already carried out in Britain, Sweden and other E.U. countries, said a European Commission spokesman.
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