E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

EC backs fruit and vegetables

19th July 2011

The European Commission today launched a multimedia campaign as part of its 210m compensation package to support beleaguered European fruit and vegetables growers, processors and retailers still reeling from the 'E-Coli Crisis'.

The recent E.coli outbreak, which originated in Germany was initially blamed on cucumbers and tomatoes before Egyptian fenugreek sprouts were confirmed as the most likely source and subsequently banned in the European Unions 27 member states.

The EC campaign includes an audio visual package that that includes supportive comments from EC commissioner Dacian Ciolos as well as comments from traders and farmers and background information. You can view it here:

A print press campaign promoting the healthiness and safety of European fruit and vegetables will get a staggered launch in the 27 member states over the next three days.

In recent weeks, this crisis forced farmers to dispose of perfectly safe vegetables left to rot by concerned consumers,

the EC said.

To help producers get through this difficult period, the European Commission has made 210 million euro available for emergency funding. However the solution can only come from consumers re-introducing fruits and vegetables into their daily diet.

Mr Cioloş, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, added: Farmers are committed to providing Europeans with healthy and high quality foodwhich reflects the rich diversity of the European farming model. Whenever a crisis threatens this model, we must protect it. We must also promote it with conviction, both as producers and as consumers. The summer is the perfect season to eat more fruit and vegetables.

The EC missive quotes one Dutch cucumber grower lamenting the effect of the crisis on his business.

Throwing away 350,000 cucumbers in only one week and realising afterwards that there was absolutely nothing wrong with them broke my spirit. For my business, this crisis may well mean the end.

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