SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Putting chickens on a forced diet as a way of getting pesticides out of their system has been proven ineffective, and actually raises the level of pesticides in their body, agriculture authorities have learned.
A number of South Korean poultry farms embroiled in the latest egg contamination scandal are continuing to suffer from the aftermath, as a special diet to reduce the level of pesticides in contaminated chickens is actually prolonging the treatment process.
As of last Sunday, 33 of 52 farms previously banned from producing eggs began egg production again, with the fears over the tainted eggs that swept the country slowly dying down, while other farms awaited approval from the agricultural authorities.
However, a number of farms that resorted to putting their chickens on an extreme diet where they were fed one meal every four days in order to lower their pesticide levels are failing to produce 40 eggs in four days, the minimum requirement for the health and safety inspection process by the agriculture authorities.
In Gyeonggi Province alone, of 18 farms that were caught using harmful pesticides, seven are now been back in operation after being granted approval to reopen.
However, nine out of 11 poultry farms that turned to an extreme ‘one meal every four days’ diet are still awaiting approval, making the diet look like a poor choice.
Similarly, in South Chungcheong Province, nine out of 10 farms that fed chickens as per usual already reopened, while the one farm that resorted to a special diet continues to fail to meet the required minimum egg production for inspection.
At one farm in North Chungcheong Province, the extreme diet even had a reverse effect, raising the level of pesticides in chickens compared to before the diet was forced upon the farm animals last month.
The level of the harmful pesticide in question, bifenthrin, was measured as 0.0627 miligrams per kilogram on August 19, but it then rose to 0.0879 two days later.
“Putting chickens on a diet could save rearing costs, but it doesn’t mean you can get harmful pesticides out of their system quicker,” a livestock expert said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)