June 17, 2008

Mexico’s Minister Says Mexican Tomatoes Not Salmonella-Tainted

Mexico's minister says Mexican tomatoes not salmonella-tainted

MEXICO CITY, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Mexican Minister of Economy said on Monday that it is crucial to prove Mexican tomatoes were not salmonella-tainted.

The remarks came as the U.S. authorities have demanded a halt to importing two kinds of tomato from Mexico -- round tomato and saladette tomato, after investigation indicated that they might be salmonella carriers.

A series of meetings between the U.S. and Mexican governments would be launched in Washington on Monday on the issue of Mexican tomato, Eduardo Sojo Garza-aldape told a press conference.

The Mexican government said last week that its tomatoes were being unjustly targeted and claimed that the uncommon Salmonella Saintpaul bacteria identified in the tainted-tomato incident has never been found in Mexico.

So far, over 200 people have contracted salmonella in 23 U.S. states since mid-April, U.S. health officials said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the "vast majority" of tomatoes produced during the salmonella outbreak were "very likely" from Florida or Mexico.

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