In the News: Fruits and Vegetables

Well that was some time ago, but I found an interesting perspective on that...

So remember that everybody was relieved when the EC allowed ugly fruit and vegetables back in shops (see the BBC news here)?

Guess what? you can't blame the Eurocrats for that silly rule, which lasted decades. The rule was established by the United Nations (UNECE) after WWII to facilitate trade.

The only thing you can blame on us is how keen we were to adopt it. Read the following from the UNECE website:

The standardization activities of the UNECE include the harmonization of existing national standards into international commercial quality standards for a wide range of perishable products, including fresh fruit and vegetables, dry and dried product (fruit as well as vegetables), seed potatoes, eggs and egg products, meat (bovine, chicken, llama/alpaca, ovine, porcine, and turkey) and cut flowers. The UNECE Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards (WP.7) and its specialized sections have drawn up close to 100 standards for the purpose of facilitating international trade between and to UNECE member countries (see List of agricultural quality standards). The Geneva Protocol on Standardization of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables and Dry and Dried Fruit sets the basis for this work. Worldwide Codex standards for fruit juices and quick frozen foods have also been prepared by joint groups of experts of UNECE and the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Many of the UNECE standards for perishable produce have been used as reference in the European Commission regulations.

Bloody UNcrats!!! you really got the blame on us for that...

In the News: Thanks Ireland!

A major hurdle was passed this weekend, with Ireland voting yes to the Lisbon Treaty. I think I got the trick now... for every referendum we should plan two votes from the Irish folks.

Anyhow, that was a good effort, nice participation and an unambiguous score, even though it was the 250th anniversary of Guinness apparently.

Well the battle is far from over, as we still need to convince the Czech President (still don't know how he got there though...) Shall we give him the ultimate threat: the Multilingualism portfolio in the next commission? I am not even sure it will work though.