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October 7, 2022

Vegetables produced in Romania are safe for consumption, Agriculture Minister says

EU inflexible on granting damages, to be paid only to organized groups of producers selling in markets, and Romanian producers are not very well-organized, Valeriu Tabara said yesterday.

Vegetables produced in Romania are safe for consumption, the Agriculture Minister, Valeriu Tabara, stated, yesterday, in a press conference, advising Romanian buyers to wash all fruit and vegetables before consumption, even if packaged, Mediafax reports. “E.coli is an external infection, which does not penetrate within the plant. All fruit have to be washed,” Tabara further stated.

The chairman of the National Sanitary, Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA), Radu Roatis Chetan, added that, up to now, no infected vegetables had been reported in Romania.

At the same time, the Romanian minister of Agriculture and Rural Development further stated, yesterday, that Romania would call on the European Commission to pay damages to all the cucumber-producers affected by the drop in sales and by the exports’ embargo, Money.ro reports.

“We’ve taken all necessary steps to appeal to Brussels. The EU is operating harsh discriminations as it means to grant damages only to organized groups of producers selling in the markets, whereas our producers are not very well organized,” Tabara added.

However, the maximum amount of financial aid for taking the cucumbers off the market is of EUR 247,200, from an estimates loss of EUR 9 M, Tabara also said. The financial aid will account for 4.6 per cent of the production value marketed last year, yet no more than one-third of the expenditures during the time interval of the loss estimate.

Thousands of tonnes of cucumbers back from export and ending up at landfill

Vegetables rotted away in storehouses, because people would not take them even for free, from the internal market, lest they should get infected with the E.coli bacteria, even if tests showed our vegetables pose no health risk, Realitatea.net reports. Cucumber-producers in Popesti-Leordeni loaded, on Saturday, several vans with cucumbers, to distribute them to the people in villages around Bucharest. Although they had initially agreed, the mayors in Cernica, Mogosoaia, Popesti-Leordeni and Ciolpani had second thoughts and opposed the scheme. All the vans filled with cucumbers were forced to take a U-turn. Even if the tests showed the products were safe and posed no health risk, the mayors of villages around Bucharest said they were afraid.

Separately, the Hortifruct producers’ organization made a proposal to the Agriculture Ministry for 3,500 tons of cucumbers being distributed freely for charity organizations and foundations, penitentiaries, institutions of public education and holiday camps for children and to hospitals and homes for the elderly. “Towards this goal, each batch going to be distributed will be accompanied by analysis bulletins,” Tabara said. The National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) also said that each batch analysis takes three days. The first bulletins will be issued Tuesday.

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