Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is tightening supervision of the import of vegetables from Europe to prevent the possible spread of disease caused by E-Coli bacteria which have been affecting parts of the European population since May.

"We will also coordinate with the Agriculture Quarantine Agency to closely monitor imports of vegetables from Europe. Imports of vegetables from Europe would be put under close supervision," the director general of standardization and consumer protection of the ministry of trade, Nus Nuzulia Ishak, said here on Monday.

Trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu will also coordinate with the Drug and Food Supervision Agency (BPOM) of the ministry of health to counsel consumers, he said.

"We will also study the developments that occur in Europe and in this case we will also coordinate with the ministry of agriculture because vegetables are under supervision of the quarantine agency," he said.

Apart from that, he said, the government would increase counseling regarding the need for the people as consumers of vegetables including those from Europe to practice a clean and healthy life style.

"We need to carry that campaign so that the case would not occur here," he said.

He said according to the trade ministry data, in 2010 imports of vegetables from Europe reached US$4.3 million and from January to March 2011 they reached US$1.8 million.

"Imports from Europe are mainly from Britain, the Netherlands, and France. Imports from Germany are the smallest," he said.

In the middle of May 2011 cases of illness caused by E.Coli bacteria were found in Germany and several countries in Europe and until June 2 17 out of 1,733 cases had led to deaths.

Disease from E.Coli bacteria could usually be prevented with a clean and healthy lifestyle. The cases have also been found in Austria, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Norway.(*)

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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