Chemical fertiliser containing levels of cadmium well over the safety mark was sold to distributors here in Iceland, and strewn over fields.The Minister of Agriculture says the matter is no cause for alarm. The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority said it will review its procedures on imported products.
RÚV reports that 11,000 tonnes of fertiliser which passed through the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority to the petrol company Skeljungur for sale to Icelandic farms last spring actually contained three times the amount of allowable cadmium levels, and was therefore unfit for sale. The product was knowingly sold to Icelandic farmers all the same, who were not told until last December of the contamination.
Sigurður Örn Hansson, director of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, told reporters that they are considering reviewing their procedures for imported products, saying that in the event of product contamination, “we are considering whether we should inform people about it right away.”
Vísir reports that Skeljungur sent a statement to the media taking responsibility for the matter, while Steingrímur J. Sigfússon – who is now, among other duties, Minister of Agriculture – said that the incident was “unforunate”, but does not believe that this necessarily means a serious pollution matter could be in the wings.
A bill is currently before parliament that would require companies and institutions such as the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority to inform the public about possible and actual environmental pollution.
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