The European Commission (EC), through its agriculture commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, has proposed a EUR 150 M aid package to help farmers whose products have been hit by the current E. coli outbreak, BBC informs, during EU agriculture ministers crisis talks in Luxembourg yesterday. “I hope the authorities will be able to give an answer on the source of the infection as quickly as possible. Without this answer, it will be difficult to regain the trust of consumers, which is essential for the market to regain its strength”, agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos said. Compensation will cover the period from late May to late June, he said, but the amount paid could change once each country’s reported losses are known. Compensation for Romanian producers of vegetables affected by the E. coli epidemic crisis will vary between 41.9 pc and 67.7 pc of European average price of cucumbers, tomatoes and salad, for producers organised, registered in June, 2007 – 2010 as reference period used by the Commission in this case”, said Ciolos for Mediafax. Compensation will be paid for losses in the period May 27 to June 30, when the crisis of confidence is estimated to be completed, isolating these days its ultimate causes and mechanisms of propagation. The total budget of compensation depends on the actual applications, according to Ciolos. He said that a “good” solution is the withdrawn from the market for free distribution to charity, hospitals and prisons, in which case the European compensation is double.
Germany criticised over ‘premature’ E.coli claims
The EU health commissioner, John Dalli, said the outbreak was limited to north Germany and did not need Europe-wide controls. Dalli also warned against releasing unproven information on the outbreak, saying it had spread fear and adversely affected farm producers. “I stress that the outbreak is limited geographically to the area surrounding the city of Hamburg, so there is no reason to take action on a European level. [EU-wide] measures against any product are disproportionate,” he told the European parliament. E. coli killed another two other people in Germany, thus bringing to 25 the total number of those who died from the epidemic, announced yesterday, health authorities in Lower Saxony, quoted by CNB news.