Sunday, 20 July 2008

Sanity In Europe - Finally?

In April, I mentioned after a trip to Madeira, that the EU had banned Madeiran bananas because they were to small.

I was delighted to read today in the Sunday Times that there are movements stirring to rid the EU of these ridiculous regulations concocted in the minds of faceless bureaucrats with nothing better to do than to conjure even more bizarre rules. Why? Apparently EU farmers are throwing away mountains of fruit and vegetables because it does not meet their moronic standards of these anonymous idiots sitting somewhere in the echelons of European Parliamentary buildings.

I have already cited the case of the Madeiran banana. What other preposterous legislation has persecuted inferior fruit and vegetables in our beloved “United States of Europe”?

From today’s Sunday Times we have …

(1) “Class 1 cucumbers must be practically straight and their maximum bend must be at a gradient of no more than 1/10”. Does that mean that there are sad individuals whose job it is to sit there armed with a tape measure and a protractor measuring each cucumber to make sure that it falls into these absurd guidelines? I don’t know what I would do if I chanced upon a cucumber that violated these dimensions.

(2) While cucumbers must not be bent, bananas have to be: “The thickness of a traverse section of the fruit between the lateral faces and the middle perpendicular to the longitudinal axis must be at a minimum of 27mm”. Can you believe that somebody actually wrote that?

(3) “A string of onions must consist of no fewer than 16 onions bound together”. What happens if an onion, disillusioned by illogical regulations let’s its entire bunch down by going AWOL?

(4) “Class 1 green asparagus must be green for at least 80% of its length”. No sunbathing for European asparagus then.

It would seem that the plight of poor nations is finally giving overpaid European decision makers the mental boost they deserve. Fruit is being thrown away because it is the wrong shape or colour and finally some are seeing the global picture. When I say some, I mean that countries like the UK who are actively backing this proposal. But typical of our European neighbours, there are some who oppose it; notably France, Italy and Spain. How can they justify this foolishness?

When farmers dispose of mountains of fruit and vegetables because it is the wrong colour or shape, it goes beyond the realms of madness. It becomes a crime.

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