Russia bans German, Spanish vegetable imports: official

30th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia on Monday banned the import of all vegetables from Germany and Spain due to an outbreak of a highly virulent strain of the E. coli bacteria, the consumer protection agency said.

"If the situation does not change, then we will ban all European vegetable products," the head of the agency, Gennady Onishchenko, was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) can result in full-blown haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease that causes bloody diarrhoea and serious liver damage and which can result in death.

German officials suspect the deadly strain, which has already killed 11 people, may have come from organic cucumbers imported from Spain.

The Russian official called on local consumers not purchase vegetables from the two countries, although it was not immediately clear if the products imported already would be seized.

"We are calling on the population not to purchase fresh vegetables from German and Spain," Onishchenko was quoted as saying. "Let them purchase domestic products," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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