Authorities say thousands of farms in northern Germany have been supplied with corn feed contaminated by a highly toxic substance.
Aflatoxin B1 is a chemical produced by fungus. The carcinogenic was found in a 45,000 tonne shipment from Serbia.
Most of the delivery was impounded, but 10,000 tonnes were delivered to companies that produce animal feed for cattle, pigs and poultry.
Johannes Remmel, the Agriculture Minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, said: “These are toxic substances and carcinogenic, which means that they provoke cancers. They should not be in food, but our rigorous milk controls caught the problem early.”
Aflatoxin B1 is one of the most carcinogenic substances in nature. Produced by fungus that grows on hay or grains it shows up in the milk of animals that ingest it.