“We must restore cucumber producers’ lost honour!”
That was the heartfelt plea from a Spanish member of the European Parliament as EU agriculture ministers prepared to offer 150 million euros in aid to farmers hit by the E.coli crisis.
Spain’s farmers suffered huge losses after their cucumbers were wrongly blamed by German officials for the outbreak that has killed more than 20 people.
“It is crucial that national authorities do not rush to give information on (the) source of infection which is not proven by bacteriological analysis as this spreads unjustified fears in the population all over Europe,” said John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy.
Madrid has threatened legal action against German authorities. Other countries’ farmers say they need help, amid falling sales. Salad vegetables remain in the spotlight although tests have failed to back up new fears linking organic bean sprouts to the killer bug.
EU offers 150 million euros to farmers hit by E.coli crisis