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,
(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:
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”