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Milk producers threaten with large-scale protests and urge the minister of agriculture, Daniel Constantin to resign. The minister is expected to present today the final situation of aflatoxin nationwide.
Romanian farmers revolt against the authorities involved in managing the crisis caused by the avalanche of infested food products, accusing that they cannot sold their products anymore. In the context of the toxic milk scandal, farmers demand the resignation of Agriculture minister Daniel Constantin and accuse authorities of lack of responsibility. “The government must urgently try to repair what it can, else all farmers will revolt in the country, we are desperate. The last culprit is the premier, but the main is the minister of Agriculture,” Costel Caras, president of the Cow Farmers Association Holstein-Ro, said on B1 TV. He added that the scandals that erupted of late blocked the Romanian agriculture and, in just one week, imports went up more than 40 times. “The daily losses amount to tens of millions of EUR, absolutely everybody loses money – processing laboratories, traders and farmers, but the VAT for these products is lost too,” Caras added. “For the last 8 days, we have dumped 70 pc of the production, because there is nothing we can do with the milk,” complained Cristian Lungu, president of the Association of the Farmers who Use Dispenser Machines for Raw Milk, romanialibera.ro reports.Dragos Frumosu, president of the Food Industry Trade Unions Federation (FSIA) accused the Ministry of Agriculture of lacking a professional attitude and pointed at Daniel Constantin as the main responsible for the panic that spread among the population.Moreover, a farmer from Branesti, Ilfov County, desperate because he lost all customers for his milk, decided yesterday to dump 10 tons of milk in the field, as a sign of protest, rtv.net informs.
The man wanted to donate the milk to foster homes for seniors and children, but nobody accepted, although he demonstrated with documents that his milk is alright. The minister of Agriculture said that he understands the farmers and tries to reduce their losses caused by this scandal. He said Tuesday that there are no problems with the mincemeat called ‘mici’, which does not contain horsemeat, and with the milk that was delivered to shops, adding that he has no new result so far, and only has the data he received the previous days. Daniel Constantin added that he will present today, in a press conference, the final situation of analyses made throughout the country for aflatoxin and believes that, after that, things will return to normal.Premier Victor Ponta mentioned Wednesday, at the beginning of a cabinet meeting, that the problem of the credibility of Romanian food products is essential and demanded the minister of Agriculture to give all necessary signals to restore confidence, as much as possible.In his turn, PNL president Crin Antonescu said that USL discussed about ANSVSA and the measures that must be taken “in order to stop dangerous developments” concerning the food industry and their unfortunate economic consequences.
At stake: the market share
Several associations of food producers from the Cluj County claim that the recent food scandals involving Romania are, in fact, a consequence of the war over market shares, waged by the big food companies, romanialibera.ro informs. Their statements are strengthened by the fact that all controls made by authorities like the Sanitary-Veterinary and Food Safety Department demonstrated that, in Transylvania, there is no problem with the turkey meat or with the milk. In this context, milk imports from the Czech Republic and Poland significantly soared on the Cluj market.