8 Jun 2011

EU proposes E. coli compensation for farmers

8:28 am on 8 June 2011

The European Union has proposed giving at least 150 million euros to European farmers who have lost money through the E.coli crisis in Germany, but Spain and France say they want much more.

The infectious bacteria has killed 24 people, mostly in Germany, and made some 2400 people ill, the BBC reports.

Spain has been demanding 100% compensation from Germany for the huge losses suffered by its farmers because of the false accusation that the outbreak began in Spanish cucumbers.

Spain's fruit and vegetables exporters association has estimated losses at 225m euros (£200m) a week.

France has also said the proposal is insufficient, but EU health chief John Dalli said countries had to be realistic about what they might receive.

Producers of salad vegetables have seen sales plummet, as German health authorities continue to try to find the source of the outbreak.

The latest focus for the source has been on bean sprouts from an organic farm in Germany, however of 40 samples examined from the farm, the first 23 tested negative.