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EU To Allow Vegetables Not Pretty Enough....  
User currently offlinePNQIAD From India, joined May 2006, 587 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 12 months 11 hours ago) and read 1944 times:

OK - I knew some things were quite crazy in the EU - but this thing is just plain ridiculous. These EU regulators certainly have wayyyyyyyy too much time on hand to come up with such ridiculous regulations in the first place. Who even dreams up such non-sense anyway?


E.U. Gives a Pass to Vegetables That Don't Measure Up

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Quote:

Tim Down knows that 1 millimeter is nothing to sniff at. This past summer, the fruit and vegetable wholesaler was caught with kiwi fruit that were too small by about that much -- 0.04 of an inch.

Government inspectors told him that because his 5,000 Chilean kiwis were too scrawny, he could not sell them.

"I couldn't even give them away. It was ridiculous," said Down, a 53-year-old from Bristol, who paid $150 to dispose of the fruit.

There is good news for merchants such as Down who hawk misshapen produce. This month, the European Union voted to repeal its strict rules on the size, shape and appearance of 26 fruits and vegetables. It will still regulate 10 items, including kiwi fruit, but if one of these is now deemed too petite, or too plump, it could still be sold as long as it carries a warning label.

"This is better regulated at the level of trade than at the level of Brussels," said Michael Mann, the E.U. spokesman on agriculture.

The changes take effect in July. Until then, it will remain illegal for retailers throughout the European Union to sell a forked carrot or a cauliflower less than 4.33 inches in diameter. A Class 1 green asparagus must be green for at least 80 percent of its length. A vine shoot on a bunch of grapes must be less than 1.97 inches.



16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10925 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (5 years 12 months 11 hours ago) and read 1938 times:

Think how much taxpayers money goes into these E.U. gnomes salaries, these same ones that make all these ridiculous laws. They seem to be making laws for about anything and everything. There must be thousands of legal texts, regulations for this and for that. This is getting much worse than the Soviet Union.


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently onlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2794 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 12 months 11 hours ago) and read 1930 times:

What would the warning label say?


It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3012 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (5 years 12 months 9 hours ago) and read 1879 times:
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HEAD MODERATOR



Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 2):
What would the warning label say?

"This object may be smaller than it appears"  rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

I mean seriously... how dumb must they be? I'm so glad we're still out of the EU ... I wonder for how long, though.



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7965 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (5 years 12 months 9 hours ago) and read 1872 times:

Question:

Quoting PNQIAD (Thread starter):
Who even dreams up such non-sense anyway?

Answer:
(Mostly) The British food industry.

Question:
Who are the first to jump on said regulation, blaming what institution?

Answer:
(Mostly) The British, blaming the European Union.

Question:
What's the reason behind said regulation anyway?

Answer:
Before the regulation took effect, more than a dozen different country-wide regulations on food quality and grades existed. As a result, when a - say: British - company was processing i.e. pickles from - say: Spain - everything went well. But if they came from say Germany or Poland, machines clogged up or not enough pickles fit into a jar.
Companies from all across the European Union - mostly, however, those from Britain - were arguing that that a Europe wide trade area should have a common system for grading vegetables and fruits.

What did the European Union do?
The EU followed suit, replacing 18(?) different regulations with only one.

How did critics react?
They said something along the line of "Think how much taxpayers money goes into these E.U. gnomes salaries, these same ones that make all these ridiculous laws. They seem to be making laws for about anything and everything. There must be thousands of legal texts, regulations for this and for that. This is getting much worse than the Soviet Union."



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineAirCatalonia From Spain, joined Nov 2007, 568 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 12 months 8 hours ago) and read 1849 times:



Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 2):
What would the warning label say?

This is a small fruit/vegetable Big grin


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8971 posts, RR: 39
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1771 times:



Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 2):
What would the warning label say?

"Buy it at your own risk"


Or maybe they'll require people to buy an equal number of ugly and pretty fruits.

[Edited 2008-12-03 10:07:25]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10925 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

hum... maybe they will be sold at a cheaper price than the so-called "nicely shaped" ones?


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1749 times:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 4):
Question:

Quoting PNQIAD (Thread starter):
Who even dreams up such non-sense anyway?

Answer:
(Mostly) The British food industry.

Question:
Who are the first to jump on said regulation, blaming what institution?

Answer:
(Mostly) The British, blaming the European Union.

It all sounds good to me. Do you have some source material that suggests as you say that the British food industry is responsible for this contretemps?

BTW, take a look at the pics. The guy couldn't even give this stuff to a food bank.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/a...NE+MILLIMETRE+too+small/article.do


User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1719 times:
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Couldn't this food have been donated to a shelter or even the local jail?

Good Day  Smile

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1717 times:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 4):
Question:

Quoting PNQIAD (Thread starter):
Who even dreams up such non-sense anyway?

Answer:
(Mostly) The British food industry.

Question:
Who are the first to jump on said regulation, blaming what institution?

Answer:
(Mostly) The British, blaming the European Union.

Question:
What's the reason behind said regulation anyway?

Answer:
Before the regulation took effect, more than a dozen different country-wide regulations on food quality and grades existed. As a result, when a - say: British - company was processing i.e. pickles from - say: Spain - everything went well. But if they came from say Germany or Poland, machines clogged up or not enough pickles fit into a jar.
Companies from all across the European Union - mostly, however, those from Britain - were arguing that that a Europe wide trade area should have a common system for grading vegetables and fruits.

What did the European Union do?
The EU followed suit, replacing 18(?) different regulations with only one.

How did critics react?
They said something along the line of "Think how much taxpayers money goes into these E.U. gnomes salaries, these same ones that make all these ridiculous laws. They seem to be making laws for about anything and everything. There must be thousands of legal texts, regulations for this and for that. This is getting much worse than the Soviet Union."

Same question as Doug: Do you have a source?

While Joe and Jeanette Sixpack doesn't care much about the shape of the vegetables she buys in the supermarket and prepare in their kitchen using hand tools, as long as they are tasty, those, who use industrial machinery for processing food, are depending on uniform sizes, to which their machines are being tailored.
So it is quite likely that the demand for uniform standards in fruit grading came from the food industry (not necessarily the British alone) and the whole thing later developed a life of it's own with the bureaucrats who have to enfore it (civil servants, no matter of which country, tend to be overtly cautious and to go strictly by the regulations. If in doubt, they will use the strictest interpretation of the rules, so that they always cover their backs) .

Jan


User currently offlinePNQIAD From India, joined May 2006, 587 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1706 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
While Joe and Jeanette Sixpack doesn't care much about the shape of the vegetables she buys in the supermarket and prepare in their kitchen using hand tools, as long as they are tasty, those, who use industrial machinery for processing food, are depending on uniform sizes, to which their machines are being tailored.
So it is quite likely that the demand for uniform standards in fruit grading came from the food industry (not necessarily the British alone) and the whole thing later developed a life of it's own with the bureaucrats who have to enfore it (civil servants, no matter of which country, tend to be overtly cautious and to go strictly by the regulations. If in doubt, they will use the strictest interpretation of the rules, so that they always cover their backs) .

US uses just as much and probably more processed produce that EU and they don't seem to face that problem in the US.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1701 times:



Quoting PNQIAD (Reply 11):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
While Joe and Jeanette Sixpack doesn't care much about the shape of the vegetables she buys in the supermarket and prepare in their kitchen using hand tools, as long as they are tasty, those, who use industrial machinery for processing food, are depending on uniform sizes, to which their machines are being tailored.
So it is quite likely that the demand for uniform standards in fruit grading came from the food industry (not necessarily the British alone) and the whole thing later developed a life of it's own with the bureaucrats who have to enfore it (civil servants, no matter of which country, tend to be overtly cautious and to go strictly by the regulations. If in doubt, they will use the strictest interpretation of the rules, so that they always cover their backs) .

US uses just as much and probably more processed produce that EU and they don't seem to face that problem in

I think the problem lays in the application of strict industrial standards in areas, where they are not necessarily required.
I'm quite sure that the US also has uniform standards concerning fruit sizes for industrial use (Dougloid, I think you are the expert here), but still allows non-standard fruit to be traded. BTW, I think that the standards only apply to inter-EU trade, as long as the fruits are being sold on the local markets, they can be sold in "as per condition". The tomatos I've bought in Southern Spain didn't look as regular as their export goods, but were much tastier. The same applies to the local farmer's markets around here.
It also seems that the British bureaucrats have an especially strict interpretation of the EU rules.

Jan

Jan


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1700 times:



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 12):
I think the problem lays in the application of strict industrial standards in areas, where they are not necessarily required.
I'm quite sure that the US also has uniform standards concerning fruit sizes for industrial use (Dougloid, I think you are the expert here), but still allows non-standard fruit to be traded.

There are USDA standards and grading is part of that, but I do not think anyone here would ever be told they had to destroy good food because it didn't meet dimensional requirements. Here;s the USDA standard for kiwifruit by the way.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5050369


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7965 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1663 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 8):
Do you have some source material that suggests as you say that the British food industry is responsible for this contretemps?

The British food industry was the loudest, but is not solely responsible for the common grade system.

As for the source: I came across some background information on the whole issue years ago, and while I can recall the reasoning pretty well (including the prominent role of the British food industry), I do not remember where I found it.
If you prefer to not believe that the EU was forced to replace some 18 or so grade systems with only one but that some bored and overpaid gnomes had another funny idea to piss the tax payers off, be my guest.  Smile

I came across said information when I wanted to know if there actually is a rule specifying the curvature of bananas that can be sold within the European Union. Many people say it would exist, but in fact it does not and it was never discussed. The misunderstanding can be traced back to some lame joke a German politician made at the expense of the bureaucrats in Brussels. (For those familiar with German politicians: It was Mr. Westerwelle.)

If you search the net for a while, you may also find reports claiming that the food industry is in fact not too happy with the announcement to scrap the EU-wide regulation.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1612 times:



Quoting NoUFO (Reply 14):
I came across said information when I wanted to know if there actually is a rule specifying the curvature of bananas that can be sold within the European Union. Many people say it would exist, but in fact it does not and it was never discussed. The misunderstanding can be traced back to some lame joke a German politician made at the expense of the bureaucrats in Brussels. (For those familiar with German politicians: It was Mr. Westerwelle.)

There's a similar analogue here. People always talk about so called 'loony lawsuits' and 'loony laws' but many of the stories are erroneous or apocryphal.

It seems that lampooning public officials is a worldwide hobby. The disposition in this case seems problematical, though.

I'll have to dig into this further.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14130 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1588 times:

Here is a link to a site which critizeses the dropping of the fruit standards:
http://pr.euractiv.com/?q=node/6850

Quote:

Dismantling of marketing standards: European Commission ignores interests of the European fruit and vegetables sector

Brussels. “The European Commission is to impose its plans to dismantle the marketing
standards for fruit and vegetables despite broad opposition from the sector. It is giving priority to
its own bureaucratic and administrative interests and those of certain retailers, ignoring the
interests of those that benefit from the standardisation policy”, declared Pekka PESONEN,
Secretary General of Copa and Cogeca.

Here is another article (needs free registration):
http://www.just-food.com/article.aspx?id=104428

Quote:

A spokesperson for the Commission told just-food that the move would mean less food waste and greater consumer choice, as retailers will now be able to sell dwarf, jumbo or misshapen fruit and vegetables.

However, the decision is a controversial one.

In July, five member states - including France, Italy and Spain - voted against the change under pressure from fruit and vegetable growers, wholesalers and retailers.

The move has continued to attract criticism from the sector. A spokesperson for European farmer body Copa and Cogeca told just-food that there is a concern among fruit and vegetable growers that repealing the standards could have a negative impact on quality and trade.


Jan

[Edited 2008-12-04 09:22:38]

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