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10 June 1999
Tests of New Zealand meat and meat products for dioxin residues have shown that levels are significantly below all current international standards and guidelines and amongst the lowest in the world.
The tests were carried out as part of surveillance programmes run by the New Zealand government in 1997.
The lack of concentrated heavy industry in New Zealand and its primarily pastoral based livestock farming practice, minimises the likelihood of dioxin residues occurring in food produced from New Zealand animals.
As dioxin naturally occurs in our environment, it is not possible to totally eliminate all trace of dioxin, but maximum recommended levels are set which have generous margins for safety built in. The results from the recent survey's confirm that New Zealand product is well below these levels.
Media inquiries to:
Tony Zohrab, Chief Meat Veterinary Officer,
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (04) 474 4100