Kenya has imposed new restrictive measures on eggs from Uganda making the poultry business expensive.
The country-imposed levies on poultry products where farmers are being charged Sh70 [Shs2,500] to secure entry of their eggs into Kenya.
Kenyan farmers buy a tray of eggs from Uganda at Sh320 which we sell in Kenya at Sh400, however if they end up paying tax of Sh2,500 for that tray, they will be counting losses.
Earlier last year, Kenya banned the importation of poultry products including chicken and eggs from within and beyond East Africa saying it needed to protect and support its producers recover from the disruptions occasioned by the Covid pandemic.
Ugandan poultry farmers accused the Ministry of Agriculture of not coming to their help in the eyes of the ban on Ugandan poultry products by Kenya.
The dealers in poultry products under their umbrella association, the Poultry Association of Uganda said they are counting losses since the ban was imposed, having injected a lot of money into the business.
A study of statistics from industrial areas in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America found high levels of the dangerous chemical dioxins in free-range eggs obtained from the areas.
Dioxins are known to cause cancer.
This follows the discovery by scientists that 88 per cent of the egg samples contained dioxins above the European Union (EU) safety limits for dioxins, or the sum of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), implying that unintentionally produced chemicals that have been regulated in developed countries since the 1990s and internationally since 2004, continue to poison the food supply at levels that pose serious health risks.
The term “free-range” refers to raising animals and chickens in large open regions where they may interact with nature, eat natural foods, and soak up the sun.
Dioxins are a class of very toxic chemical compounds that are hazardous to human health, causing issues with reproduction, development, and the immune system, as well as disrupting hormones and causing cancer.
In the study published in the journal Emerging Contaminants, experts point out that in many areas, children consuming just a few eggs per week would exceed the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) tolerable intake for dioxins by as much as 10 times, and in some cases as much as 100 times.
“The peer-reviewed analysis found the highest dioxin-contaminated eggs near an e-waste site in Agbogbloshie, Ghana. A child eating one egg from this would ingest more dioxins than EFSA considers a “tolerable intake” for five years,” the scientists highlight.
According to experts from Arnika, a Czech NGO, and Ipen, a global environmental and toxic waste network with more than 600 public interest organisations in more than 120 low- and middle-income countries, including Kenya, burning plastic waste is the primary source of dioxins, particularly in developing countries where plastic waste from the West is frequently shipped.
Eggs are often locally produced in developing countries and are an important food source because they are inexpensive and highly nutritious, according to Roland Weber, the study’s corresponding author, and a consultant to United Nations (UN) agencies for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention.
Eggs are also a primary route for humans to be exposed to harmful substances from soils, and they are sensitive biomarkers of soil pollution.
“These findings reveal that we need a systematic assessment of chicken eggs and other free-range livestock around these emission sources and show the need to reduce human exposures from sites which have been contaminated with POPs and other persistent pollutants,” he said.