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States pushing for tougher penalties for rotten meat

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Photo: DPA
12:02 CEST+02:00
Germany's upper house of parliament the Bundesrat has sent a consumer protection bill back to the drawing board, saying regulations regarding rotten meat need to be toughened up.

"We should not wait for the next rotten meat scandal to act," said Bavaria's Agriculture Minister Gerd Muller.

The rejected bill called for fines to increase from €20,000 to €50,000 as well as obligating producers to inform the public where the rotten meat was sold. But the upper house, which represents German's 16 federal states, argued the authorities must also be able to name producers who put spoiled meat onto the market.

Currently, warnings are only issued after the danger to consumers and producers are taken into consideration. The Bundesrat also rejected plans for an emergency alert system.

“We want to be able to name the ‘Black Sheep',” said Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Consumer Affairs Peter Hauk.

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Further, the Bundesrat requested that the mediation committee with the lower house of parliament regulate what would happen in case of animal epidemics. The states fear that the financial obligations associated with warning consumers about such epidemics, like the swine flu or mad cow disease, and are pushing to make that a federal responsibility.

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