- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BRUSSELS (AP) - European Union agriculture ministers are assessing whether farmers will be able to recoup from EU coffers up to 30 percent of the cost of vegetables that cannot be sold because of the German E.coli contamination crisis.

Two officials said Tuesday that the EU Commission has come up with the proposal as a base for negotiations at a special emergency meeting of farm ministers dealing with the economic impact of the crisis. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

Earlier Tuesday, the EU health chief warned Germany against premature _ and inaccurate _ conclusions on the source of contaminated food that have spread fear all over Europe and cost farmers in exports.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.


BERLIN (AP) _ Germany’s national disease control center says a further 94 people have been sickened by the deadliest E.coli outbreak in modern history.

The Robert Koch Institute said the number of registered infections in Germany rose to 2,325 Tuesday, with those in other European countries still standing at about 100.

The institute adds the latest figures indicate that the number of new cases is declining _ a sign that the epidemic that might have reached its peak. But it cautions that it is not certain whether the latest decrease will continue in the coming days.

It said the number of people suffering from a serious complication that may lead to kidney failure among those sickened rose by 12 to 642.

The outbreak has killed a total of 22 people across Europe within a month.