The E. coli bacteria is sickening thousands in Europe. Meanwhile, governments are demanding repayments. Image: CDC / Public Domain

In Germany, thousands of people have been sickened and many have died from an outbreak of E. coli. The cause of the E.coli outbreak has not yet been tracked down, despite extensive testing throughout the European Union. Now, the Spanish government is demanding that the German government pay out millions of Euros for lost revenue.

The E. coli outbreak

The German outbreak of E. coli was first reported on May 1. By May 23, 122 cases of E. coli were reported. More than 20 people have died from the outbreak, and officials have not yet determined where the outbreak is from. European agriculture ministers have held several emergency meetings about the outbreak in an attempt to address the problem. Some experts believe that the number of infections is peaking, but more infections are showing up each day.

German officials blame Spanish cucumbers

Soon after the E. coli outbreak was reported, German officials implicated organic cucumbers from Spain as a potential cause of the outbreak. Eventually, tests proved the hypothesis wrong, but the damage had already been done. Sales of organic Spanish cucumbers plummeted and will not likely recover for months, if not years. After the cucumbers, officials said there was “strong evidence” the outbreak was caused by sprouts, but tests on those products are also coming back negative. European Parliament members are investigating the cause of the E. coli outbreak and the investigation into the cause of the outbreak.

Spain demands repayment

The European agriculture commissioner has requested a 150-million Euro repayment package to Spanish and other European farmers. The allegation of of agricultural authorities is that German authorities spoke too quickly and did not identify a source of E. coli that tests could confirm. Spain has requested that Germany pay 300 million Euros, approximately $440 million U.S. Spanish authorities have named this amount as “full reparation” for the damage that Germany’s allegations caused.


VOA News http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/EU-Proposes-Financial-Aid-to-Farmers-Hit-by-E-Coli-Outbreak-123365728.html
MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43309973/ns/health-food_safety

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