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Wonky fruit rules are bananas!

Friday, 12th February 2010

Fruit and veg are under the EU spotlight again as Spanish MEPs have moved to get the EU to re-impose its ban on misshapen fruit and vegetables. Roger Helmer, Conservative MEP for the East Midlands, condemns these moves as ludicrous.

The Spanish amendments, if passed, could spell misery for local farmers whose fruit and veg might not necessarily pass a beauty contest but whose flavour and quality is uncompromised.

This decades old European Commission political hot potato was finally overturned in July last year after sustained pressure from Conservative MEPs and relentless bad publicity. Prior to the u-turn, strict marketing standards had been imposed for 26 types of fruit and vegetables resulting in a huge amount of healthy food being thrown away and food prices being driven up.

Now Spanish MEPs in the European Parliament are demanding that the ridiculous rules are reintroduced.

Mr Helmer comments:

“To try and stop stores selling perfectly decent food simply because of its shape and size is morally unjustifiable, especially when we are worried about global food supplies and are still in recovering from an economic downturn.

“I thought common sense had finally prevailed when the European Commission relaxed the rules last July.

“Our farmers were grateful too as it meant they could sell their perfectly good and often better quality produce. If the Spanish MEPs get their way, we could see the re-introduction of the ludicrous bendy banana rules.

“My Conservative colleagues and I will bitterly oppose the move on behalf of local farmers.

“Consumers will decide what they want. Let the market decide, not the European Parliament.”