A COMPANY being sued for €32m over supplying dioxin-polluted animal feed has claimed the product was grossly contaminated by recycled 40-year-old fuel oil.
The oil was allegedly supplied by a businessman and another company unlicensed to deal in mineral fuels, it has also been claimed in court.
Millstream Recycling Ltd claims light fuel oil purchased in Northern Ireland contained dioxins banned since the 1970s.
The contamination in December 2008 saw a recall of all Irish pork products after pig meat on several farms was found to have between 80 and 200 times more dioxins than the recognised safety limit.
Many animals were slaughtered and compensation costs for Ireland alone are estimated at more than €180m.
Millstream, of Clohamon Mills, Bunclody, Wexford, is facing 18 court claims.
Millstream is now suing Gerard Tierney, of The Paddocks, Selandia, Newtown Park Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, and Newtown Lodge Ltd for €36m to cover €32m in claims and €4m in losses.
The presence of those substances was consistent "with reckless and perhaps criminal behaviour", Millstream director Robert Hogg has claimed.
An extensive garda investigation continues in relation to Mr Tierney, he said.
Mr Hogg said his company was "devastated" at finding itself at the centre of the dioxin controversy.
Millstream claims it had no means of discovering the fuel oil contained the banned substances -- polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) -- and it is entitled to be indemnified by the defendants against the various claims against it.
Yesterday Mr Justice Peter Kelly admitted the action to the Commercial Court.
The case continues.