Germany investigates organic egg 'fraud'

Free-range chicken look at an egg on a farm in Seefeld, southern Germany Organic eggs must meet strict regulations

German authorities are investigating allegations of fraud over the mislabelling of eggs as organic.

The northern state of Lower Saxony has launched an investigation into allegations that 150 farms had mislabelled their eggs.

It is claimed that the hens live in conditions that do not conform to organic regulations.

The farm minister said that if the accusations are proved to be true, it would be "fraud on a grand scale".

Farm Minister Ilse Aigner said in a statement that the mislabelling of eggs would be "fraud against consumers but also fraud against the many organic farmers in Germany who work honestly".

She urged regional governments to ensure the full implementation of tough German and EU laws on organic food production.

The investigations come as Europe's food industry has been engulfed by a meat processing and labelling scandal after multiple processed meat products labelled as beef were revealed to contain quantities of horsemeat.

An additional 50 farms in two other German states are also under investigation for mislabelling eggs as organic.

Organic food is increasingly popular in Germany and consumers are willing to pay a premium for products they believe conform to strict standards.

Two years ago, a European Union-wide health alert was sparked when German officials said animal feed tainted with dioxin had been fed to hens and pigs, contaminating eggs, poultry meat and pork at affected farms.

More on This Story

Horsemeat scandal

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ElvisSecret cinema

    Get off the beaten track and explore cinematic history in the Santa Monica Mountains


  • Virtual courtroomClick Watch

    The 'forensic holodeck’ system that recreates crime scenes as 3D virtual worlds

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.