The two new EU legislations upon dioxins & dioxin-like PCBs in foodstuffs and feedstuffs were issued in 2006 (EU Regulation (EC)199/2006 on foodstuffs and EU Directive 2006/13/EC on feedstuffs). Both legislations set up the maximum levels of sums of dioxins and DL-PCBs in foodstuffs and feedstuffs and action levels (which are about 75% of the maximum level) in feedstuffs. Both legislations have been enforced since 4th November of 2006.
From this point, all foodstuffs or feedstuffs are not allowed to be put on the market if the contents of dioxins or sums of dioxins & DL-PCBs exceed the maximum level. However, if the content of dioxins or the sums of dioxins and DL-PCBs in the products exceed the action level but are below the maximum level, these products are prohibited into market, but the manufacturer or dealer will have to investigate the contamination source of dioxins or DL-PCBs.
Dioxins and DL-PCBs are both the two kinds of POPs，whose toxicities are about 10,000 times that of cyanide. Dioxins and DL-PCBs enter the human body through the chain of environment - food chain- human. Due to the position of humans at the top of the food chain and the long period of the half-life of Dioxins and DL-PCBs, they are easily accumulated in the body to high concentrations,resulting in harm to human health.