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US to import egg products from Netherlands to ease shortage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The bird flu outbreak has caused the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve importing egg products from the Netherlands to be used for baking and in processed foods.

The American Bakers Association says makers of cookies, crackers and breads are facing an egg shortage crisis.

A third of the supply disappeared in just a few weeks because of the H5N2 virus, which has led to the death of 35 million egg-laying hens.

The USDA said last week the Netherlands should begin shipping egg products within days.

It's the first time in more than a decade the U.S. has bought eggs from a European nation. The shortage comes as consumers are seeing a surge in shell egg prices and the San Antonio-based H-E-B supermarket chain began limiting purchases.

In recent years, only Canada held certification to sell liquid, dried and frozen egg products to U.S. companies.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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