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Toxin scare affects mozzarella sales in Italy

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 21, 2008 in Health
Buffalo herds in Naples have been quarantined on suspicion that they may contain high levels of dioxin in their system. The area where the animals grazed, inspectors found toxic wastes illegally dumped by the mafia.
Mozzarella cheese is a special type of cheese grown only in certain parts of Italy and they are world famous. In fact, only cheeses grown from this area are allowed to be called as Mozzarella. Buffalo mozzarella cheese is one of most famous delicacies in Italy. Unfortunately their sales have taken a slide recently because of fear that buffalo in Naples area might contain toxins.
The mafia unscrupulously had dumped large amounts of toxic waste in the grazing area and the health authorities fear that buffalo might have ingested them along with the grass. The authorities have quarantined nearly eighty buffalo herds until further testing.
The local Mafia, Camorra, have been making huge profits by buying toxic waste from industries and dumping them in the region.
Government laboratories are analyzing milk samples taken from some 2,000 herds of buffalo which graze near Caserta, just north of Naples.
The inspectors said only a tiny fraction of buffalo milk is affected by the quarantine orders. They also said consumers have to eat huge quantities of mozzarella cheese over a period of many months for them to have a higher than normal levels of dioxin to affect their health.
But still consumers are afraid to take any risks as a result the sales of Neapolitan mozzarella cheese have declined by 50% in recent weeks according to farmer’s associations.
More about Toxin, Mozzarella, Italy