According to Le Monde, a study commissioned by the French agriculture ministry - and never published - found significant levels of dioxin in 19 out of 40 samples taken in 34 French departements. The Council of Europe recommends that dioxin in dairy products should remain below 1 picogram per gram of fat. Above 5 picograms, the products must be removed from the market. Most of the samples showed dioxin levels at just below or just over 1 picograms. Two findings in the Pas-de-Calais and Seine Maritime were above 3 picograms.
The French Ministry of Agriculture said it regarded the results as "acceptable". Most of the findings were close to the "target" set by the Council of Europe, it said.