Member of the Riigikogu Rural Affairs Committee Ivari Padar (SDE) finds that fish processor M.V.Wool has handled the listeria scandal poorly.
"A lot depends on the behavior of the company regarding which there are suspicions. We can clearly see M.V.Wool acting defensively today," Padar said on the Vikerhommik radio show.
Padar wished M.V.Wool luck, but added that a problem cannot just be denied.
"We have another example from meat processor Oskari Lihatööstus where the company clearly and openly talked about their problem last week," the former agriculture minister and MEP said.
"There are two ways of going about communication. We also have examples from Europe where companies that have discovered they have a Listeria monocytogenes contamination have closed their doors because the consumer comes first. It is clear that if we lose the consumer's trust now and are seeing watchdogs ridiculed following pressure from certain politicians, and our exports fall as a result, we will soon find ourselves sitting on food we cannot possible digest by ourselves," Padar said.
Padar said that the parliament committee is in the middle of hearing the case. "We have heard from both the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) and M.V.Wool once, and we have a record of the company's complaints against the watchdog," he said.
The SDE MP believes the Riigikogu Rural Affairs Committee and Social Affairs Committee should hold a joint hearing of the VTA and the Health Board as the scandal concerns both the veterinary and public health domains. "Right now, the Estonian people are left in limbo before Christmas. We should hold these hearings as quickly as possible – I don't know whether it will be this week, but these things should be sorted and whether watchdogs have done things by the book or whether there have been shortcomings determined next week at the latest," Padar found.
Editor: Marcus Turovski