Dutch poultry farmers are furious after learning that the Nederlandse Voedsel en Warenautoriteit (NVWA) failed to act immediately despite getting a tip about the use of the banned pesticide fipronil on poultry farms.
They are planning to take legal action against the food safety board over the contaminated egg scandal.
A few days ago, NVWA inspector general Rob van Lint said they received a tip that fipronil had been used to clean the barns, but there was no evidence that the insecticide was in eggs.
“It is incomprehensible,” chicken farmer Helmus Torsius said. “All the alarm bells should have been ringing after the anonymous tip-off.”
Torsius is one of 180 farmers hit by the egg scandal. He has been unable to sell any eggs for the past two weeks and has had to destroy 25,000 free-range hens and 300,000 organic eggs.
“We want compensation for all the damage we have suffered,” Torsius said. The Dutch poultry farmers union puts the total bill at €150m.