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Al Jazeera English's second-from-the-top European story

An E. coli outbreak from cucumbers. The Germans blamed the Spanish, but then, not. And the Spanish want to sue the Germans because their sales dropped. A little subtext here, maybe? But, yes, that's the top story.

The first one is Mladic to the Hague. Nobody goes there, it's too crowded? I wish!


Submitted by jawbone on

probable source, but it's unknown how, on what, where.

And this is a very serious disease.

German health authorities trace the outbreak to tainted lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes and have warned residents, especially in the north, not to eat any of those vegetables raw. The E. coli bacteria are often spread through improper handling of food products, particularly those fertilized with manure.

However, researchers have been stymied in their attempts to pinpoint the contamination's source. Ilse Aigner, the nation's food and agriculture minister, told German television Wednesday that "hundreds of tests" had already been conducted but that more were needed to track "the delivery path" of the suspect vegetables.

German officials originally focused on cucumbers shipped from Spain as the culprit. Tests determined that some were, in fact, contaminated with E. coli. But Germany now acknowledges that a different strain of the bacteria from the one found is responsible for the outbreak.

The misidentification, and a subsequent ban on imports of Spanish produce, triggered an angry backlash in Spain, where nightly news broadcasts have shown grim-faced farmers watching their profits go up in smoke as they dump tons of cucumbers. Several other countries have blocked Spanish produce as a result of Germany's erroneous announcement.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba of Spain said Madrid was contemplating legal action against German officials over commercial losses estimated at nearly $300 million.

Too bad about the Spanish farmers....

Submitted by jm on

will be to blame immigrant farm laborers for failing to wash their hands. That's the way it's done here in CA. It's always teh Mexicans' fault.

Submitted by lambert on

Because apparently one of the knock-on effects of the Arab Spring is an immigration panic by the usual suspects in Europe. So we get the misdirection from #europeanrevolution, and we reinforce the right as well. It's like a well-oiled machine!