Russian watchdog agency bans imports of seeds from Egypt.

6/7 Tass 358

MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Federal Service for the Protection of Consumer Rights /Rospotrebnadzor/ has banned the imports of seeds from Egypt pending the reports that the seeding materials of Egyptian origin might have caused the outbreak of the Escherichia coli infection in Europe, the country’s Chief Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko said Wednesday.

He said a decision on the ban was taken on the basis of a letter from John Dalli, a European Commission member. It covers the sprouts of Rocket salad, garden radish, beetroots, and all types of legumes – peeled, unpeeled, fresh, and chilled ones.

The information that the sprouted seeds infected with Escherichia coli had been brought to Europe from Egypt was released earlier by the experts of the European Food Safety Authority /EFSA/.

They said the bacterium had turned up in Europe at the end of 2009.

The European Commission suspended the imports of sprouts and seeds of legumes from Egypt as of Wednesday, July 6.

It also ruled that all the legumes imported from Egypt in the period of 2009 through 2011 should be taken off the department store shelves and destroyed.

The outbreak of Escherichia coli in Europe in May and June 2011 left 49 people dead, including 48 people in Germany and one person in Sweden.

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