Regulations Gone Bananas

The EU Agriculture Commission has announced that, in light of the dismal economy and high food prices, it proposes to slightly relax its onerous rules and regulations on fruits and vegetables in retail markets.  


Pages and pages of standards and specifications on things like onions and carrots will be tossed out into the compost heap. Or, as some corn-fed headline writers put it,

 EU May Repeal Cumbersome Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Regulations 

 Curvy Cucumbers Boomerang Back to EU Shelves

Brussels Touts New Proposed Laws for Fruits and Veggies

(ok, that last one… I made up)

Also interesting is what they haven’t released from their bureaucratic calipers: Bananas.   Perhaps this a hold-over from the 2001 Banana Wars  (which strangely enough, affected the art poster business)… they don’t grow ’em, so they can regulate ’em.  But then, they are keeping most of their rules on apples and oranges too. 

Here is an excerpt from the EU specs on bananas, Commission Regulation (EC) 2257/94:

III. SIZING Sizing is determined by: – the length of the edible pulp of the fruit, expressed in centimetres and measured along the convex face from the blossom end to the base of the peduncle, – the grade, i.e. the measurement, in millimetres, of the thickness of a transverse section of the fruit between the lateral faces and the middle, perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis. The reference fruit for measurement of the length and grade is: – the median finger on the outer row of the hand, – the finger next to the cut sectioning the hand, on the outer row of the cluster. The minimum length permitted is 14 cm and the minimum grade permitted is 27 mm. As an exception to the last paragraph, bananas produced in Madeira, the Azores, the Algarve, Crete and Lakonia which are less than 14 cm in length may be marketed in the Community but must be classified in Class II.

..or, as yet another headline writer put it:

Why is this banana legally curved instead of just crooked? Because it is the fruit of the finest judicial minds in Europe


So we’re back full circle to the earlier Quote du Jour by Doug Larson, about Survival Skills in a World of Orderly Standards. Here’s another quote attributed to tbat Doug Larson guy (whoever he is), appropos to the EU Veggie-Madness: “A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself”


About danspira

My blog is at: My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on June 30, 2009, in humor, plants, Uncommon Comestibles. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I remember when they started all this nonsense. It was stupid then, and its stupid now. Of course, if the stupid rules and regulations mean that people grow more of their own produce, then I’m all for it.

  1. Pingback: White House Brew-hah-hah-ok, ok, we get it, enough already… « Meme Menagerie

Leave a Reply -- for humans only, no spambots

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: