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Dutch authorities arrest 3 for selling food waste as feed

Dutch authorities have arrested three people for selling unidentified food waste as animal feed.

Legal Gavel Over A Flag Of The Netherlands
Sergei Gnatuk |

Products made from unidentified food waste allegedly sold to livestock farmers as animal feed

Dutch authorities have arrested three people for selling unidentified food waste as animal feed, according to reports.

Safety inspectors shut down a facility in May 2019 after finding 7,000 tons of waste from food processing companies in tanks and silos at the company’s factory. An eight-month-long investigation found that uncertified food waste was processed and sold to livestock farmers as animal feed. Investigators said the unnamed company may have profited up to EUR4 million (US$4.4 million) from the operation, which ran from 2017 to May 2019.

The factory also did not meet hygiene standards and the subjects are also suspected of forging documents so that the origination of the feed materials cannot be tracked.

“In the case of contamination, it is necessary to be able to trace the origins and so prevent further spreading,” the public prosecution department said. “Actively undermining the system poses a risk not only to each farmer but to confidence in the entire food chain for humans and animals. Farmers and consumers have to be able to count on animal feed being free from contamination.”

After the investigation, the company was shut down, its certification withdrawn and dozens of its trucks seized.

The investigation was conducted jointly with Dutch, Belgian and French authorities.

Feeding of food waste linked to ASF

Early on in China’s outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF), China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs linked the disease to the feeding of kitchen waste and banned the practice. Because kitchen waste is cheaper than animal feed, many small farmers use it to feed their pigs. The law says food waste must be heat-treated to kill bacteria or disease, but that step is often skipped.

“After the provinces with outbreaks and neighboring provinces completely banned feeding of kitchen waste to pigs, the epidemic was greatly reduced, which fully demonstrates the importance of completely prohibiting the feeding of waste,” a statement from the ministry said at the time.

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