Israeli officials suspect that "hostile elements" were behind the insertion of Salmonella bacteria to Israeli-grown basil, which was sold to Britain and from there marketed to other European countries.
Miriam Freund of the Plant Protection and Inspection Services department at the Agriculture Ministry said that while the results of tests conducted on the basil will only be received Wednesday, it seemed highly unlikely that the Salmonella originated in Israel.
Oded Yaffe of the private agronomy laboratory Shelef said that the entire affair was "very strange." "The odds that the Salmonella happened to reach three different Israeli farms at the same time are tiny," he added.
According to Yaffe, given Israel's position in Britain these days, a criminal involvement could not be ruled out. "Unfortunately, it appears as if someone just pasted Salmonella on the basil from Israel," he said.