Afraid Lifting Fresh Meat Import Ban Will Lead To Increased Pathogens - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Afraid Lifting Fresh Meat Import Ban Will Lead To Increased Pathogens

Published February 3, 2016

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A professor of bacteriology has cautioned that lifting the import ban on fresh meat could increase the risk of multi-resistant bacteria in Iceland.

RÚV reports that Karl G. Kristinsson, a professor of bacteriology at the University of Iceland and the chief doctor of the bacteriology department at Landspítali hospital, contends that pathogens such as multi-resistant bacteria are much more common in mainland Europe than they are here. The death rate from such bacteria is also higher in Europe.

Should the current import ban on fresh and unfrozen meat be lifted, he said, Iceland could be facing a real danger of an outbreak. He adds that even so, the risk of such an outbreak is already present in Iceland, due to the import of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as from tourists who may be carrying pathogens.

EFTA court recently ruled that Iceland’s import ban on fresh and unfrozen meat violates European trade regulations. Parliament has hotly debated the topic, but for now the law remains on the books.

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