Five days after the onset of the first cases of the entero-haemorrhagic e. coli (EHEC) bacterium, which killed 16 people in Europe, including 15 in Germany, the actual source of the bacteria is still not identified. And the relationship between the Spain and the Germany remain strained.
Indeed, the German authorities have, for the first time Tuesday about 15: 00, expressed doubts about the responsibility of Spanish cucumbers in food poisoning. Indeed, the first two Spanish cucumber tests revealed the presence of another strain of the bacterium EHEC that sent more than a thousand patients at the hospital, has announced the health authority of the city of Hamburg (North of the Germany). The results of tests carried out on two other cucumbers are not yet known. It should be on Wednesday.
"The source of the poisoning has still not been identified", said Cornelia Prüfer-Storcks, responsible for health in the city of Hamburg. Hamburg was the first Thursday to bring suspicion on imported Spanish cucumbers. Same diagnosis in Brussels where meeting of experts of the 27 EU Member States was underway Tuesday in Brussels to provide an update on the epidemic of EHEC, reporting of ore and already as "an episode without precedent." "The source of the contamination has not yet been determined", said spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen Commission. However, the origin of the epidemic is hope a rare bacterium, e.coli 0104, a pathogen related to vegetables, said an expert. Tests are underway to determine if this strain 0104 is present in batches of contaminated by the bacterium E cucumbers, he added.
But for Madrid, the harm is already done! No one in Europe risk to eat vegetables from Spain. "It is as if he had a deposit in Europe not to buy Spanish products," it is lamented Tuesday Jorge Brotons, President of the Spanish Federation of producers / exporters of fruit and vegetables (Fepex). Spain, first European producer of cucumbers, the epidemic is now economic.
Asked about the country ceased to buy fruit and vegetables at the Spain, M. Brotons replied: "almost throughout Europe." There is an effect domino all vegetables and fruits. "It has created a psychosis." The affected products are "in large measure the vegetables, but secondly fruits are also affected," he assured
Phobia towards the consumption of cucumber and fresh vegetables, which is spreading in Europe for five days, creates a very serious for the sector of fruit situation and Spanish vegetables, with losses of more than EUR 200 million a week, had denounced Tuesday morning, Spanish Rosa Aguilar Agriculture Minister come to Debrecen (is the Hungary) to discuss the situation with its counterparts in European. Professionals Spanish, 25 of exported Spanish cucumbers are to the Germany and the non-marketed surplus represents 150,000 tonnes per week. "A European problem, must be a European solution", said Ms. Aguilar, asking a compensation not only for the Spanish producers, but for all European producers affected by this situation.
Same request for compensation for the Netherlands who, for their part, saw their exports of vegetables to the Germany virtually stop overnight, said Tuesday in the Hague the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Agriculture. However, the Germany is important for almost 10 million euros per week, the Netherlands vegetables, had indicated Monday the Dutch Minister Henk Bleker, present in Debrecen. .
Faced with this complex situation, Rosa Aguilar has sharply criticized the approach of the German health authorities. "We are disappointed by the management of the situation" in Germany, she said, especially because health authorities have made "statements very unwelcome" pointing Spanish cucumbers as the origin of the contamination without reliable data to say However, to date, "the fact is that all affected were in relation to the Germany", she said, citing as an example both Spain who had lived in Germany. In addition, EHEC in question, particularly virulent, strain "has never been found or identified on Spanish territory to this day," said Ms. Aguilar.