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Reform falters after Europe’s E. coli scare

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One year on from Europe’s worst recorded outbreak of Escherichia coli infection, governments have made little progress towards improving the monitoring and reporting systems that allowed the crisis to drag on for weeks. The disease, which was spread by contaminated fenugreek sprouts, swept across northern Germany in May and June 2011, infecting thousands and killing 53 people (see Nature 474, 137; 2011). Yet although the panic has sparked some proposed policy changes, these have become mired in political debate at both German and European levels.

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