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Galician Mussel consider reporting France for 'ill-founded' alert

Farmed mussels. (Photo: T.Ezcurra)
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

Mussel producers in Galicia are evaluating the possibility of filing a complaint against France because they argue that this country declared a health alert against Galician mussel without "looking at the available data."
The producers accuse France of using these alarms as a tool of a "trade war" to stop the import of mussels produced in Galicia.
The president of the association of mussel producers Virxe do Rosario of Vilaxoán, Javier Blanco, predicted that the Mussel Bureau -- which groups mussel farmers that control 90 per cent of production -- will meet with officials of the Secretariat of Marine Affairs to analyze the position the sector will take and "the actions" deemed appropriate, the newspaper La Voz de Galicia informed.
Blanco claims it is necessary to know who traded the mussel that caused the alarm and where it came from.
According to the mussel leader, Galician mussels are in a "good condition".
"Never, in these 50 years, has it been possible to attribute a poisoning event to Galicia," the leader ensured.
Blanco recalled that France recently launched other "unconfirmed" health alerts against the Galician mussel.
Mussel farmers also present the adoption of legal action to claim damages and compensation for the damages suffered as a consequence of this new complaint, the newspaper Faro de Vigo reported.
The industry intends to make a "common front" with the Secretariat of Rural and Marine Affairs to report producers, traders and French authorities to the European Commission (EC), "so that the next time they consider the issue long before launching ill-founded accusations" against the Galician producers.
"This implies raising awareness in Europe of the fact that the French are driven by commercial interests when they systematically attack us, causing serious damage to our industry and it can be irreparable because the image of our mussel is clearly harmed," Blanco complained.
Mussel producers believe it is time to learn from the mistakes of the past and to join in a common effort to be strong in Europe, so they can not be affected by the French or by others.
Related article:
Health alert in France due to Galician mussels

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