E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Ukraine lifts ban on Egyptian seeds and vegetables

30th August 2011

An European Union (EU) delegation is on its way back to Europe after a visit to Egypt to investigate the seeds blamed for an E.coli outbreak over the summer. It intends reporting within ten days, to allow discussion on lifting the current ban on the import of Egyptian seeds.

On Wednesday the Ukrainian government said it intends to lift the ban on the import of Egyptian vegetables and seeds. The Ukraine officially informed Egypt of its decision, giving rise to hopes that the Europe-wide ban on 15 Egyptian sprouting seeds and beans, set for reconsideration at the end of October, can be lifted soon.

Bernardino Len, the EU's special representative for the southern Mediterranean region, had said that the European Union will resume imports and increase orders for Egyptian produce if it finds a solution to the current dispute over the alleged E. coli infection.

In July the EU temporarily banned the import of certain seeds from Egypt until October after some were linked to a deadly E.coli outbreak in Germany and France.

Member states, says the EU, must ensure that all "seeds imported from one Egyptian exporter between 2009 and 2011 are withdrawn from the market, sampled and destroyed."

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