Czech Republic bans imports of German poultry

The Czech authorities banned imports of German poultry and poultry products on Thursday. The move came in response to the discovery of a banned herbicide in organically grown wheat used as chicken feed in Germany. The spokesman for the veterinary authority, Josef Duben, said the ban will be in place until June 13. By then, the Czech veterinary authorities expect an explanation and more information from their German counterparts.

Traces of Nitrofen, a banned agricultural weed-killer believed to cause cancer, were found recently in poultry products from a farm in the German state of Lower Saxony.

According to the German authorities, a feed mill in Lower Saxony has found traces of Nitrofen in some 550 metric tons of grain, including 300 tons of organically grown wheat, delivered to the mill since September but did not report the problem.

It was not clear how the herbicide got into the grain, or whether any of the animal fodder made from it was delivered outside Germany.