The EU is proposing an Aid package of over $219M to aid the farmers in their losses because of the outbreak. But Spain says, “it not enough” perhaps the EU should just let it go and not help the ungrateful at all! Ungrateful, being Spain, they are close to bankruptcy anyways, so what is a few million more or less!
Ban on vegetable imports
The origin of the bacteria is still unknown making it impossible to treat effectively. On Thursday Russia‘s Consumer Protection Agency abruptly banned all imports on vegetables from European Union [EU] nations. Only Russian cucumbers and produce are now available in Russia. The agency said it had run out of patience with the WHO.
This move will affect EU agricultural trade significantly. The 27-nation member bloc described the move as “disproportionate”. Tests on the vegetables come as Russia said it was going to Frederic Vincent, a spokesman for the EU’s Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner, said the European Commission would write to the Russian Agency for the Supervision of Consumer Rights to demand further clarification of the ban. The United Arab Emirates also issued a temporary ban on cucumbers from Spain, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.
The outbreak was initially blamed on Spanish cucumbers by German officials who later admitted that they were in the dark about its origin. Spain has since demanded a payback for its farmers who have suffered significantly from this accusation. The European Commission is proposing a $219m aid package for vegetable farmers in the region who have been affected by a deadly outbreak of E.coli. “I will propose 150 million euros today,” Dacian Ciolos, the European agriculture minister, said after an emergency meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday, but added that the figure was just a starting point for discussion.
Spain, however, immediately dismissed the compensation offer as insufficient. “No, it’s not enough for Spain,” Rosa Aguillar, the Spanish agriculture minister, said. “What we will propose is that there should be a response to all producers … for 100 per cent of the real market value of the losses,” she said. Spain has already estimated that it has lost $256m in exports among its growers, while the EU-wide fresh produce association, said the country could be losing $292m a week.
Infections thus far
The bacteria has sickened more than 1,500 people in northern Europe, including 470 who have developed a rare kidney failure complication.Seven people in Britain who recently travelled to Germany have been infected with the bacteria, the Health Protection Agency said on Thursday. Three of those infected were British nationals who had recently travelled to Germany and four were German nationals, the agency said.
Of those cases, three had full-blown haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease that can cause serious liver damage, and the other four suffered bloody diarrhoea, it said. “All are suspected to be related to this outbreak” in Germany of enterohaemorrhagic E-coli (EHEC), authorities said in a statement.
Although initial reports blamed imported cucumbers for the outbreak researchers have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the illness, which has now hit at least nine European countries. E. coli is a common bacteria found in meat, vegeatables and fruit. It normally lives in the intestines of people and animals where it helps the body break down food. There are hundredS of E. coli strains but some are harmful.
Problems emerge when the bacteria travels outside of the intestine. Most infections attack the bladder, kidney and blood stream. To avoid food borne illnesses, WHO recommends people wash their hands before eating or cooking food, separating raw and cooked meat from other foods, thoroughly cooking food, and washing fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw.
Britain’s Health Protection Agency also urged people travelling to Germany to avoid eating raw tomatoes, cucumbers and leafy salad including lettuce.
Yes, the problems with this outbreak are terrible. But, is the money worth more than the lives that were lost. This seems to be the case in point. It is not about the lost lives and the hurt brought to those families, it boils down to the lost Revenue, and nothing more. So, what are lives worth?
- EU to discuss E.coli compensation (independent.co.uk)
- EU Health Chief Slams Germany Over E.coli (news.sky.com)