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How many consultations does the government need to implement a rule already imposed by the EU on food labelling?

A BBC article yesterday announces a consultation on food labelling :

Food manufacturers, supermarkets and health experts are to be asked their views on the best way to label the nutritional content of food.

There have been long-running battles over how to label the amount of fat, sugar, salt and calories in food – with several different systems in place.

The government’s UK-wide consultation will take place over the next 12 weeks.

The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said getting everyone to use the same system was “common sense”.

Before a surprisingly open admission that there is fuck all ministers can do anyway as their hands are tied by Brussels :

Mr Lansley told the BBC it was “not possible” for him or other health ministers to “impose a solution other than the EU solution”.

However, he said he was keen to work with businesses to find a “consistent” approach which could be introduced voluntarily across the UK.

He suggested that combining both the traffic light and GDA systems could help consumers.

He said he was aiming for a system which “incorporates not only what Europe requires in terms of recommended daily allowance for calories and sugar and salt and saturated fats, but in addition to that to give a means by which consumers can look at a glance, for example, using things like colour coding.”

Followed by a link to another BBC article from 2008 which, surprisingly, announced a consultation on food labelling :

A Food Standards Agency spokeswoman said it welcomed the commission’s recognition of the importance of clear, front of pack labelling.

She added: “An independent evaluation of the three labelling schemes in use in the UK is now underway.

“The results of this study will tell us what is working best for consumers and will inform future negotiations on this EU proposal.”

I suppose all these consultations on the same thing is a way of keeping politicians and the myriad agencies occupied when they are just there to rubber stamp whatever comes over the channel.

There is also a hint of good old fashioned UK style “gold plating” where any old rule from Brussels is tarted up with extra costs and national legislation just so our own poor politicians feel they are actually making a difference while the rest of us die under their reams of paperwork and red tape.

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2 comments to How many consultations does the government need to implement a rule already imposed by the EU on food labelling?

  • Bill

    Classic Liebore dumbing down the serfs exercise… except I was sure there was an election in 2010.

    Just once I would love to see a British government stick two fingers up to the EU prodnose department or better still tell them briefly and succinctly yo Foxtrot Oscar just before they cancelled the UK’s membership fees.

    • Wasp

      Bill – That would at least restore some of my faith in politics, politicians and this country in general but, alas, I don’t think I will see anything of the sort. More likely, I think, will be the EU managing to disappear up its own fundament in the meantime.