Taiwan to set tolerance level for fipronil residue in eggs at 10 ppb

Taipei-Taiwan's health and agriculture authorities have decided to set the maximum tolerance level for fipronil in eggs at 10 parts per billion (ppb) based on the conclusion of a meeting of experts on the management of the pesticide in late November.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement on Tuesday detailing the planned introduction of the regulation and a 60-day period for public comments.

FDA division chief Pan Chih-kuan (???) said the new regulation could go into effect as early as April if consensus is reached.

Last year, incidences of fipronil tainted eggs were reported around the world including Taiwan. Local authorities seized and incinerated more than 500,000 eggs after a country-wide investigation found 45 farms with excessive levels of the insecticide.

At the time when the fipronil scare occurred, Taiwan had no rules regulating the pesticide's residue in eggs. To reassure the public about food safety, the relevant authorities decided to adopt 5 ppb -- the instrument detection limit -- as a provisional standard for fipronil inspection.

The European Union standard for fipronil residue level in eggs is 5 ppb, while in the United States it is 30 ppb.

At a meeting convened by the FDA and the Council of Agriculture (COA), the top authority for agriculture affairs, to discuss the management of fipronil residue in eggs in November, it was decided to set the maximum tolerance level at 10 ppb.

That level was arrived at after taking into consideration the consumption of eggs in Taiwan and possible fipronil residue in imported poultry feed, according to the FDA.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel