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The German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa) reported Tuesday that eggs contaminated with the pesticide (fibronil) were found in 40 countries, including 24 EU member states.

Millions of whites have been withdrawn from European stores, although some regulators have expressed concern that many contaminated eggs have already entered the food chain through manufactured products such as biscuits, cakes and salads.

EU agriculture ministers are due to discuss the contaminated egg scandal at their meeting in Tallinn, capital of Estonia, on Tuesday, the agency said.

The agency added that a spokeswoman for the European Commission confirmed that Lithuania, Portugal, Cyprus and Croatia are the only countries among the European Union, which has not been affected so far.

Among the non-EU countries where eggs contaminated with insecticide were discovered were the United States, Russia, South Africa and Turkey, the agency said.

Dutch and Belgian authorities followed the source of the insecticide, where it reached a supplier of cleaning products in the Netherlands. Two Dutch men running the cleaning company were arrested last month.

The contaminated eggs affect health when consumed in large quantities, but the insecticide (fibronil) is somewhat toxic and can cause damage to organs of the human body.

Vibronil is widely used to treat pets from ticks and fleas, but it is prohibited to use it in the food chain, for example in cleaning barns.