Netherlands: Arrests in Belgium for possible illegal use of the tomato virus vaccine

Updated Nov 10, 2022
In the Antwerp municipalities of Beerse, Kapellen and Rijksevorsel, the Belgian police searched three houses on Tuesday. She is investigating the development and use of a banned vaccine against the Tomato Brown Rugose Virus (ToBRFV), reports the Antwerp Public Prosecution Service.
Four people were arrested during the searches. According to the Public Prosecution Service, the Environment team of the Antwerp federal judicial police is investigating the possible intentional spread of ToBRFV. The ministry also reports that a tomato company from Rijkevorsel may be involved in the development of a banned vaccine against the tomato virus. The company is also suspected of having introduced the vaccine to deliberately infect tomato plants to make them resistant to ToBRFV. According to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, it concerns the tomato company Stoffels Tomaten. The company itself does not make any statements about the investigation. The vaccine would contain a mild variant of ToBRFV, the Antwerp Public Prosecution Service said. Because the European Union has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the tomato virus, these are illegal practices. The Federal Food Agency (FAVV) was also present with ...
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