Suspects in poison eggs scandal to be arraigned Tuesday

Two Dutch suspects arrested last week in connection with the so-called fipronil scandal, will be arraigned on Tuesday. The magistrate will decide whether they will be kept in custody, ANP reports. 

Over the past two weeks between 8 and 10 million eggs were recalled from supermarkets after Dutch food safety authority NVWA concluded that they may contain high concentrations of toxic insecticide fipronil. The two suspects now in custody are managers at Barneveld company ChickFriend, the company that treated the stables of over 150 Dutch poultry farms with fipronil containing insecticide thereby contaminating the laying hens as well as their eggs.

The two suspects were arrested on Thursday. They are suspected of endangering public health. 

The Dutch investigation into the fipronil contamination is focused on ChickFriend, the Belgian supplier of the fipronil containing insecticide Poultry-Vision, and Dutch company Pro-Farma, suspected of collaborating with the Belgian supplier.

On Friday the third Dutch suspect - Pro-Farma owner Nick Hermens, who asked for his surname to also be published - told the Telegraaf that he was the anonymous whistleblower who warned the NVWA about the fipronil contamination in November last year. "The anonymous tipster, that was me", Hermens said to the newspaper. "In that tip, I indicated that I knew about the delivery of fipronil to ChickFriend." 

The existence of that tip was revealed by a Belgian Minister on Wednesday. According to the NVWA, the tip was only about the use of fipronil in cleaning stables and at the time there was no reason to believe that the toxic insecticide ended up in eggs.