More than 2,800 people in at least 14 countries have been sickened by the strain of bacteria, which is believed to have originated in Germany.
On Wednesday, Daniel Bahr, the German health minister, said he thought the worst of the crisis was over and that the rate of new infections was slowing down. Authorities are expecting results from a bean sprout farm in Germany, which officials pinpointed as a possible source of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, Spanish farmers who have had their exports hit by the crisis have received help from the German government in reparing their image.Does this mean Spain is off the hook? And Germany is the new focal point for the cause. Politicians do like to put the horse before the carriage.
Spanish cucumbers were falsely blamed for being the cause of the outbreak, delivering a significant blow to vegetable producers in the country. “The German government has agreed to make an effort to improve the image of Spanish produce in Germany,” Diego Lopez Garrido, Spain’s minister for Europe, said in Berlin after talks with his German counterpart Werner Hoyer. “Twenty-five per cent of our vegetable exports are to Germany, it is our most important export market. Therefore it is also the duty of the German government to aid us with promotion.”
Lopez Garrido described as “unfortunate” a false alarm by Hamburg’s top health official two weeks ago blaming Spanish cucumbers.
European Union farmers say that since the warning over E. coli went out, they have lost up to $611m a week as ripe produce rots in fields and warehouses.
On Wednesday, the EU said it would offer farmers compensation of up to $306m for the E. coli losses, though a final decision will not be made until next week. This is great, in a matter of days the EU has changed the level of compensation from $219M to $306M.
Now what about the latest words coming from the Netherlands, that a new strain of E-coli has been found or is suspected of the outbreak in the EU. So, who is right, and when will the public know the truth?
- Dutch find different E. coli strain (cbc.ca)
- Now it’s beet sprouts — different E. coli strain found (msnbc.msn.com)