When I went shopping last weekend I saw some empty shelves in the organic food section of my supermarket. No organic eggs and even my sons favourite organic salami was sold out.
The latest German dioxin scandal is not the first feed scandal in Germany and for sure it will not be the last from our system of highly industrialised and globalised agriculture.
The feed industry buys cheap ingredients like saw mill waste, fish waste, industrial fats, genetically engineered crops and other disgusting stuff.
Consumers need to realise that organic is the safer choice, as the feed is better controlled, and farmers have to produce a huge proportion of the feed by themselves or buy it from regional sources. Ingredients like industrial fats are not allowed.
The recent scandal was uncovered one day before Christmas, when one feed producer informed the authorities that he found dioxin in his feed. Six days later a feed production site in northern Germany was closed and at beginning of January dioxin was found in eggs and later in pigs. Almost 5,000 farms in Germany were closed down for precautionary reasons.
Drop by drop more information came out: one producer had used industrial fats for feed production and sold them to 25 feed producers who mixed those fats into feed and sold that to farmers.
But still nobody really knows how the dioxin got into the fats...
Every time we thought, that the story had reached its climax we learned, that it can always get worse. The dioxin fats were being sold at least since March last year. The fat producer knew about the problem and tried to solve it with the old recipe: "The solution to pollution is dilution..."
And oops! Somehow one feed producer was discovered only last weekend and almost 1000 more farms had to be closed. Our politicians are blaming each other and the industry.
The Minister announced better controls, better information and stricter regulations for feed, but the main problem remains untouched: the industrial system of mass production at low prices.
I'm happy to see people buying more organic eggs and other animal products. Let`s hope that this trend lasts longer than the media coverage of the dioxin scandal.
Barbara Kamradt campaigns on agriculture for Greenpeace Germany.
>> Find out more about the Greenpeace agriculture campaign.