Here's proof Brussels has been sprouting lies about wonky veg for years

Posted on 6:04 PM by Sameer Shah

The EU has finally conceded what we've all known all along: curly cucumbers and misshapen carrots are good enough to eat.

One of the great myths of EU bureaucracy was at last laid to rest, as after protests from supermarkets, grocers and farmers, Brussels revoked dozens of bans on less-than-perfect produce - having previously denied ever having any.

It has relaxed its regulations on 26 types of fruit and vegetable, from courgettes to peas, and from plums to artichokes.

Rules for another ten products, including apples, lemons and lettuces, will remain the same, but shops will be allowed to sell these with 'appropriate' warning labels.

So should we be celebrating this new dawn for misshapen fruit - and for the European Union - and applaud the decision to engage in a tiny bit of deregulation?

Well, before Eurosceptics start dancing to the EU anthem - Beethoven's Ode To Joy, actually - they should, as so often with Brussels, scrutinise closely the small print.

First of all, shouldn't we all feel just a tiny bit angry that, having been told for years that all these stories about Eurocrats dictating the size and shape of vegetables and fruit were simply Eurosceptic propaganda, we are now expected to give Brussels credit for bravely abolishing them?

The European Commission's website in London maintains - at taxpayers' expense - a list of so called Euromyths, which includes the size of peaches and the curvature of cucumbers. Will they now be eating their words?

Yes, we should congratulate the EU for finding the political courage to decide that onions are now allowed to have stems longer than 4cm, and that the 'minimum diameter' is no longer '10mm for trimmed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts'.

We should rejoice that battle-scarred apricots (with scars that are more than 2cm in length) can now make it past the fruit fascists, and that undersized aubergines now have a place in our greengrocers.

Perhaps we should even be pleased that - provided they are labelled prominently with the inviting words 'product intended for processing' - we will be allowed red varieties of apple where less than three-quarters of the surface is, in fact, red.

Or, with the same labelling, we can now enjoy strawberries which have carelessly lost their stalks.

But before we get too enthusiastic about the changes, think for a second what they don't apply to: food imported from outside Europe, for example, which is the subject of another raft of pointless legislation. In particular, the bendy banana ban is still with us.

Bananas entering Fortress Europe must not be suffering from 'abnormal curvature of the fingers' and must be 'free of any foreign smell and/or taste' (presumably they must smell European).

Apparently, the EU has no plans to remove this onerous banana regime but then, of course, it applies to foreign producers, whereas the standards abolished yesterday applied only to produce from within the EU.

You only have to think about all this for a second to realise that, despite yesterday's micro-step in the right direction, Brussels and the real world are not going to collide any time soon.

1 Response to "Here's proof Brussels has been sprouting lies about wonky veg for years"

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