Four men released in pork dioxin inquiry

TWO men arrested in Coalisland as part of a cross-Border operation by gardaí and PSNI officers investigating the 2008 pork contamination have been released without charge.

A report is being prepared for the public prosecution service.

Two other men from Armagh have also been freed in relation to the investigation, while a fifth man arrested in the Monaghan area by Garda remains in custody.

The arrests followed from the Garda investigation into the outbreak of pork contamination in December 2008 which forced the recall of Irish pork produce from supermarkets and stores in Ireland, Britain, European Union countries and other world markets.

It was estimated that contaminated products were exported to 25 countries.

The forced recall was prompted by the discovery that meal on a number of Irish farms, including a small number from Northern Ireland, was found to have dioxins between 80 and 200 times more than the safety limit.

The discovery was made following a routine testing of pigs which indicated the presence in the animal feed of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which were banned in the Republic since the 1970s.

Long-term exposure to dioxins can have serious health effects, including the risk of causing cancers and damaging immune and reproductive systems. It was stated however in 2008 that the recall ensured consumers only had minimum exposure to risk.

Read the full story in this week's issue of the TYRONE TIMES