/ 6 July 2011

Russia bans Egyptian seeds linked to E. coli outbreak

Russia banned certain Egyptian seeds on Wednesday, including fenugreek, after a European food agency linked them to the deadly E. coli outbreaks in Germany and France.

Russia’ consumer protection watchdog chief Gennady Onishchenko said the ban applied to the seeds as well as certain soy products, mustard and certain other vegetable seeds.

“Until special (new) instructions, we are also introducing a ban on the import and sale in our country of certain types of Egyptian products,” Interfax quoted Onishchenko as saying.

Russia last week resumed vegetable imports from four European Union countries after imposing a nearly monthlong ban because of the deadly bacterial strain.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Food Safety Authority had linked a batch of Egyptian fenugreek seeds to outbreaks in France and Germany and then reported the findings to Moscow.

Onishchenko said the report’s conclusions could help repair trust between the two sides.

“We welcome the fact that the European Commission has tackled this with such dedication and has for the first time officially voiced its version of events,” Onishchenko was quoted as saying. — AFP