EU considers 30% compensation to farmers

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European Union agriculture ministers are discussing whether to cover 30 percent of vegetable famers' losses suffered amid a deadly E. coli outbreak.

EU considers 30% compensation to farmers

Workers throw away cucumbers to be destroyed at an agriculture facility near Bucharest June 6, 2011 as sales collapsed in Romania's markets due to the fear of E.coli contamination. [Photo/Agencies] 

To deal with the economic impact of the outbreak, two officials said the EU Commission had proposed the compensation plan as a base for negotations at a special emergency meeting of agriculture ministers, China Daily reported.

The officials requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

"I have pledged to review this number ... and come back with an improved proposal, an improvement that will be substantial, balanced and justified," EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said after the meeting in Luxembourg, according to The Seattle Times.

At least 24 people have died and more than 2,700 have fallen ill in the E. coli outbreak, which has affected 13 countries.

Health officials initially blamed Spanish cucumbers for spreading the bacteria, but laboratory tests have shown the vegetable is not the cause of the outbreak.

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