EU Nearing Deal for Farmers Impacted by E. Coli

E. coli outbreak is declining, but new cases are still appearing

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) As two more people died from E coli toxins in Germany, bringing the total to 26, and 300 new cases of infection were confirmed, the European Commission announced it has finally reached a financial deal to help Spanish farmers.

Spanish farmers were forced to let fruit rot in the fields when demand suddenly declined after German health authorities erroneously blamed the E. coli outbreak on Spanish cucumbers. Bean sprouts were later fingered then dismissed as the cause of the outbreak. German officials have since said the source of the widespread E. coli infection may never be known.

"Warnings against eating cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts remain in effect."

Though several hundred new cases of infection have since been reported, it is believed that the situation is gradually improving because new cases of infection are in decline.

Initially Spanish farmers had been offered 30 percent of the market price of unsold crops but that offer was rejected by Spain, France and Italy. A more generous plan announced Wednesday that promised 50 percent of market price until the end of June instead could be finalized next week.

Also, just over 30 percent of farmers -- those that are members of national producer organizations -- will receive an extra 20 percent through funds provided by the European Union and other organizations.

An additional evaluation is expected at the end of the month to see if additional funds are warranted.

The number of those sickened in the outbreak now stands at 2,648. Of those, nearly 700 were affected by a serious complication that can cause kidney failure.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 8, 2011
Last Updated:
June 10, 2011