Sunday, 17 April 2011

Past Its Sell-By Date

I've often argued that the 'success' of the EU lays in large part in the unwillingness of our media to report the true extent of how much the EU interferes.

Another fine example shows itself today, when the Telegraph reports:
[That it] has learned that the coalition wants an end to the confusing proliferation of instructions on food labelling which have greatly expanded over the past decade.
Of course it is complete nonsense, as EUReferendum and Autonomous Mind excellently point out. Food labeling is exclusively an EU competence there's nothing that the coalition can do about it without permission from Brussels:
The point is, of course, that the "best before" dates are not going to be scrapped. This is because food labelling is an exclusive EU competence and the provisions are set out in Directive 2000/13/EC of 20 March 2000 on "the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs" (pictured).

The Directive is transposed into British law by the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 as amended (several times), and there are absolutely no plans to amend the Directive, or change the Regulations.
It comes to something that blogs written by volunteers provide more accurate coverage of news than paid journalists. Richard North then links to a similar article written in July last year:
Interestingly, the Baby Failygraph did a story on this on 12 July 2010, with the heading "Best-before' is well past its sell-by date". It was written by Philip Johnston who suggested that: "A 'use-by' date would stop billions of pounds of food being thrown away".
In that article are even the following words:
Although the sell-by date was introduced by Marks and Spencer in the 1950s as a stock-control guide for store-room staff, it was not until 1973 that it appeared on the shelves in M&S food stores as "a guarantee of freshness".
Now I wonder what happened in 1973? Don't expect the Telegraph to tell you.

1 comment:

  1. Sky has been banging on about it too. Are they all thick? I am beginning to wonder whether they realise how little control they have.