Ukraine not to ban imports of EU vegetables over E. coli outbreak

08:49, June 21, 2011      

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Ukraine will not impose a ban on imports of EU vegetables because the country is taking measures to prevent contamination of E. coli bacteria, the head of the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service said on Monday.

"Today we cope with the situation, so a complete ban on imports of agricultural products of animal and plant origin for our state is premature and inappropriate," Anatoly Ponomarenko told a press conference.

Earlier Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Ukraine will strengthen border control on the imports of vegetables from the European Union.

Europeans began to abandon the mass consumption of vegetables in June following the E. coli outbreak, which has so far killed 38 people, mostly in Germany, and sickened over 3,000 others.

Scientists believed the possible source of contamination were tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Later it turned out that the deadly outbreak was triggered by vegetable sprouts grown in northern Germany.

Cases of E. coli infection, which causes bloody stools and serious kidney damage, were reported in 14 European countries, the United States and Canada. Virtually all the victims either live in Germany or traveled there recently.

Source: Xinhua
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