Food Law News - EU - 2011

Commission Memo (MEMO/11/370), 2 June 2011

FOOD SAFETY - European Commission considers the Russian ban on imports of EU vegetables as disproportionate and requests its immediate withdrawal

The European Commission protested to the Russian Federation this afternoon against the Russian ban imposed earlier today on all EU vegetable exports to Russia, and requested the immediate withdrawal of the measure.

In a letter sent by European Commissioner John Dalli's Services to the Russian Authorities, the Commission specifically expressed concerns about this decision, by noting that

the latest test results on cucumber samples carried out by the competent authorities in Spain and Germany, showed that the cucumbers are not responsible for the Shiga toxin-producing E. Coli (STEC) outbreak in Germany.

Reminding that the outbreak is restricted to a limited geographical area –it is affecting primarily the northern part of Germany– the Commission also stressed that it has removed its own alert notification on Spanish cucumbers from the Rapid Alert System on Food and Feed (RASFF).

Finally, in the letter, the Commission underlined that it has kept all of its trading partners, including Russia, fully informed about all developments on the STEC outbreak in a transparent manner and pledges to continue doing so.

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