Variety of EHEC bacteria found in Dutch sugar-beets

June 9, 2011

Dutch health authorities said Thursday they found EHEC bacteria in sugar-beets exported to Germany and Belgium, but it was a different variety to the deadly strain that has killed 25 people.

"This variety was picked up in the shoots of cultivated sugar-beets by a Dutch producer," food and consumer safety authority spokeswoman Marian Bestelink told AFP.

"What we are sure of is that this is not the variety that's been the source of the epidemic in Germany. This is another variety of the EHEC bacteria," she said, referring to the acronym for enterohaemorrhagic E. coli.

Dutch authorities have recalled the unnamed Dutch producer's exported from Germany and Belgium and stopped its sales, she said.

Bestelink stressed however: "It is not the lethal variant of the microbe such as the one in Germany, but it could cause disease, one never knows."

Germany said Wednesday was hopeful the "worst" of the killer bacteria outbreak was over as European officials discussed how to help hard-hit farmers.

The outbreak of the deadly has killed 25 people -- 24 of them in Germany and another woman in Sweden who had just returned from Germany -- and and left more than 2,600 ill.

The outbreak's source had not yet been found.

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Charla
not rated yet Jun 09, 2011
Most sugar beets are genetically modified. There have been charges that this illness was caused by bacteria that contain genetically modified sequences from plague bacteria. Are these Dutch sugar beets GMOs????

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