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Thursday, 14 February 2019

EU over-regulation #94

The pasta factory in Gödersdorf is, for an industrial building, quite pretty. Imagine a small Victorian brewery or mill, a range of buildings around a yard, and flowing obliquely through it a crystal-clear bach rippling over its bed of smooth washed stone. People come here from wide around for partly the discount pasta shop but mostly the cafĂ© - fresh cooked pasta in a range of sauces, and pots of the local lager. The family firm competes quite well against the big industrial pasta factories to the south, and brands are widely stocked in supermarkets in the region.

Finkensteiner have made a unique selling point in their egg content - "Four eggs to every kilo!" is the proud boast. But now they have fallen foul of EU labelling regulations, and face huge costs in re-printing and re-labelling all the packaging to be in exact accordance with EU labelling regulations.

The factory cafe terrace
An official complaint was made to the Justice department, and they have been convicted and fined for breaches including
  • Stating the number of eggs per kilo rather than a percentage figure - and only a percent figure
  • Using an hourglass to indicate cooking time rather than written boiling instructions
  • The storage and use-by instructions are too widely separated on the packets
The illegal pasta label
Ten tonnes of pasta in the warehouse must also now be re-packaged.

Honestly, I can't even begin to condemn the utter stupidity of EU over-regulation.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

The recent news is that the EU seriously under-regulated the use of glyphosate weedkiller.

It's a tall ask to get every detail right in a vastly complex world.

Oldrightie said...

The same approach goes into their relentless propaganda and brain washing. As proven by Anontroll.

Anonymous said...

Well, we can go back to the days of Aberfan, and Flixborough, and our rivers and coastal waters being putrid, grey-brown open sewers and chem waste dumps post-EU exit, OR.

I quite like them being blue, green, turquoise and transparent, but whatever floats your boat eh?

right-writes said...

Yes, if it wasn't for the EU we would all be living in dystop.........

mongoose said...

The point, anonymouse, is that there was nothing "wrong" with the pasta labelling that needed to be put "right". It's just jobs-for-the-big-boys swinehood. It's just another simple set of anti-competitive shackles to make the world a little drabber and a little sadder.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the rule in this instance seems excessive, but with countless thousands of specifications they'll be off-target now and then.

Boy, you'd hate to be a dog in an EU-hater's house though wouldn't you?

If you got a flea, then the clowns'd shoot you.

jack ketch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jack ketch said...

Ahhh the good old EU doing what it does best ie One Regulation to rule them all, One Regulation to find them, One Regulation to bring them all, and in the darkness of uniformity to bind them....and to bury them under a Mount Doom of paperwork.

Joking aside, it is as much a positive as a negative, however inane it may seem....common sense not being very common and no doubt today's digital generation might be confused by an 'analogue' egg timer without LED display. I jest not, I recently was given (for Xmas from one of my ever increasing count of Grandchildren ) one of those kitchen timers shaped like a tomato that were all the rage in 80s (i study to the Fag-o-doro Plan = 20 mins learning, fag break, 20 mins..), a present greeted by my youngest Offsprung with a 'Huh that's a timer?! PaaaaPaaaa why don't ya jus' use the konkrete ('proper') timer on ya Handy ('phone') LOL?!?!'

Anonymous said...

R-R, well, the UK did consistently oppose EU attempts to improve environmental standards, so on that point membership is beneficial, it seems.

The rest of your implications are plain daft as ever.

anon 2 said...

Radewald - I can neither read nor understand posts expressed in alien measurements and weights . . .

Beyond that, I must commend your support of Freedom of Speech on here! Those of us who reject your resident Troll's guff are similarly free to ignore it's postings. You make the point wonderfully clear. Thank you.

Raedwald said...

Jack - good guess .. close, very close

On the egg timer issue, the court explained that some people didn't know to cook pasta, and the symbol and '8m' time might be interpreted as the time it needed in the oven. For the sake of the criminally stupid, the instruction must say 'Cook in boiling water for 8m' or similar.

I bet the egg producers round here are shitting themselves ... there's only so much room on an egg carton.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Jeremy Corbyn will raise the point, in his discussions with Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt?

At least he stands a chance of coming back with an outline to which Parliament might agree. What's needed then is a PMB to compel the Government to implement it.

jack ketch said...

For the sake of the criminally stupid, the instruction must say 'Cook in boiling water for 8m' or similar.-Raed

You say that, but it was not so very long ago that Lil' Sis had to rugby tackle Aged Mother to prevent her putting Baked Potatoes with metal skewers in them in the micro-wave. Cuts both ways, the generation that confuses the 'email received' tone of their smart phone for the micro-wave 'ping' probably don't actually know how to cook pasta.
Hell 30 years ago in the some of the less touristy parts of Edinburgh I was meeting kids who thought that pasta 'came outta tin wid tomato sauce, aye, y'ken?' (it was a staple of many of the kids I worked with; spaghetti hoops and fishfingers whilst Ma was getting it 3 ways in the bedroom for enough smack to fly her out of Pennywell Gardens for an 'whore o' ta').

Gardener Fisher said...

Oh come on, you like living in Austria, regulations give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. Don’t tell me a revolution is brewing, in Austria no doubt your yellow jacket is regulated

jack ketch said...

no doubt your yellow jacket is regulated-GF

Neonnotvestenleuchtungsgradsamtlichefeststellungszulassungsverfahrensgesetz.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Jack.

Last time that I was in Germany I merely invented an adjective for "free of speed limits" not quite as long as that, but it was received as comprehensible normality.

Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzunglos exists, apparently.


jack ketch said...


Nice one Jack.


Not really, its nonsense, and ungrammatical nonsense at that but , as Raed no doubt knows, making up such mile long nonsense words is a pub game in Germany (and Austria I assume) beloved of Brit ex-pats.

Edward Spalton said...

There is going to be a wide open unregulated doorway for food products into the UK post Brexit. The UK government, having made insufficient preparations, will not inspect consignments from the EU at the border. If it tried to do so, supermarket shelves would quickly run empty. The EU authorities do not inspect goods leaving the EU, so the chain of supervision which once allowed safe circulation of food products within the single market is broken. EU and UK computer systems may no longer be talking to each other in the event of a nomdeal,Brexit, so there will be a distinct risk to public health. Wide boys will always spot the chance for this sort of thing. There will also be a much greater scope for VAT fraud which will affect the health of public finances.

I have whinged about EU regulation with the best of them but the “official controls” on “ sanitary and phytosanitary” matters ( i.e animal and plant derived products) are a bit like the drains. You take them for granted and only notice them when they don’t work. I have been on the edge ( although not directly involved) with three serious cases of contaminated animal feed. Once detected, the system did work and the source of the harm was identified and stopped.

Raedwald said...

Gardener Fisher - that is I'm afraid, just a crude stereotype born of ignorance.

The UK Building Regs and guidance, last time I saw them, filled thirteen fat volumes and took up an entire shelf. The Austrian building regs are about six sides of A4.

The Austrian approach has always been to ensure the competence of the person undertaking the task, and not to minutely regulate how the task must be performed. The EU imposes a system that undermines a different but no less effective local approach here - all to secure a homogeneity across their sad empire, to eliminate difference.

jack ketch said...

The Austrian building regs are about six sides of A4. -Raed

Dear God, its 'ealth n Safety gooorn maaad! Fortunately after Brexit we shall be free of the inane and insanely voluminous over regulation of Johnny Foreigner.

DeeDee99 said...

When I started reading today's post, I thought the tag-line would be "whimsy."
But no ..... the EU really is that pedantic.

jack ketch said...

the EU really is that pedantic.

Actually the examples that Raed cites are some of the less pedantic...but then again in a world which requires microwaves to carry 'do not dry your pets' warnings, coffee cups to warn in cigarette pack font that they might be HOT and Chocolate Nut bars to advise they may contain nuts,maybe regulatory pedantry is underrated.

What irks me in this particular case is that the firm in question was fined. Surely the cost of repackaging/relabeling is 'punishment' enough? A bit 'Golden goose meet axe'.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jack, but that all stems from businesses trying to protect themselves from litigious Americans.

I think that I'm right in saying that you cannot buy a steak "bleu" in France any longer, after a massive compensation claim from a Septic, with a dose of the tea at the Ritz.

Gardener Fisher said...

Dear Raed,

I believe your 6sides of A4 resulted in your builder ignoring you completely and restoring your roof to 21st Century exactitude, eliminating years of character.... funny how builders will do what they want, regulations or not. If they are honest you are safe, if crooked you are at best wet and cold or at worst dead.

Anonymous said...

In a rules-based game, it pays to read the rules first

Anonymous said...

But it is necessary that the pasta factory comply with regulations. It is not punishment but to protect the consumer who could be children or from other countries. When in business it should take care to follow all laws, or would be like Trump.

Or maybe could do like Verhofstadt tumbrels, but should be yellow ;-)