After students have reported their decision, they are told that a similar event really happened in 1999 in Belgium . They are shown a map of Europe and we point out Belgium to them on the map.In that situation, farmers really observed a sudden drop in egg production, reduced egg hatchings, reduced weight of chicks, increased mortality of chicks (i.e., death), and neurological problems. This information is presented with powerpoint, and each item on the list of observations is discussed.

The dioxin, it is explained, came from oil in which the chicken feed was cooked. To this day, we do not know if it was a malicious act, or carelessness. Either way, it was the focus of lawsuits, and a great loss of money.

France quarantined 70 poultry farms. The European Union destroyed suspect poultry, pork and beef (with feed acquired by the same company), and dozens of countries scrambled to keep Belgian food off supermarket shelves.



Boston University Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental Exposures and Health