UFOP chairman speaks on dioxin scandal

By Luke Geiver | February 01, 2011

Representatives from the biodiesel industry met in Berlin for the “Fuels of the Future” congress, funded by the German federal ministry of agriculture, to discuss a range of topics including a recent dioxin scandal that unfairly tarnished a German biodiesel producer. Helmut Lamp, chairman of BBE, a German bioenergy association, spoke on the issue of an absence in biomass imports to Germany from other EU states as a possible factor that could slow down the biofuels market in Germany. Along with biomass considerations, Lamp, in a statement from the German oilseed council UFOP, also referenced several mineral oil projects including the tar sands in Canada, the Niger Delta oil extraction work and other deep-sea drilling efforts that are not subject to the same requirements for carbon footprint creation as biofuels, asking political decision makers to take action.

Speaking directly to the dioxin scandal, Klaus Kliem, chairman of UFOP, said that in addition to farmers, “The biodiesel industry was placed under general suspicion without any fault.” The scandal, which involved Petrotec AG, a German-based biodiesel producer that was linked to contaminated fatty acids containing dioxin, generated negative media attention after a feed producer used technology-grade fatty acids not intended (and clearly marked not to be used) for use in animal feed. The German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection has since put the blame on the feed producer, and Petrotec AG has issued a statement clarifying the issue, adding that they are exploring legal actions.

During the event, which included over 450 members of the biodiesel industry, Kliem also pointed out that the current biodiesel installed capacity is only operating at 50 percent in Germany, and through expanded trade and tax relief commitments, the full installed capacity in the country could be used. 

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