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Misshapen fruit saved, but produce logo a waste of money- Lyon

Date

25 Mar 2010

Sections

EU Priorities 2020

George Lyon (Liberal Democrat, UK), ALDE Spokesman on Agriculture, has welcomed today's European Parliament vote to keep misshapen fruit on Europe's supermarket shelves - but he also warned that other proposals in the Scotta' report might break international law if brought into force.

Mr Lyon co-authored the amendment striking down a provision in support of reintroducing marketing rules in the fruit and vegetables sector (the so-called "wonky fruit" rules). He said:

"Eccentric laws about bendy bananas and curvy cucumbers lead to food wastage and exasperation with the EU. The shape of a fruit is irrelevant to its taste and nutrition. We cannot have these laws return through the backdoor, and Parliament was right to strike this down."

But Mr Lyon also warned that in voting for a "European Union quality logo", the Parliament has recommended something that means nothing to consumers and could flout WTO rules:

"A European quality logo is neither known nor understood by shoppers across the EU. Its introduction is not only a waste of money, but may be seen as undercover protectionism and a distortion of trade rules. Would it be allowed by the WTO? We have serious doubts. I hope that the Commission will not now propose it"

NOTES TO EDITORS

Mr Lyon and the ALDE Group voted in favour of the amended Scotta' report, but against some of the specific provisions including the European Union quality logo.

The Scotta' report, Agricultural product quality policy: what strategy to follow? is the European Parliament's response to the European Commission's 28 May 2009 communication on agricultural product quality policy (COM (2009)0234). This followed the Commission's 15 October 2008 on agricultural product quality: product standards, farming requirements and quality schemes (COM(2008)0641).

The Scotta' report will inform any new agricultural product quality legislation brought forward by the Commission.

ENDS.

 

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84

e-mail: neil.corlett@europarl.europa.eu

Euan Roddin: +32-2-284 41 57 or +32-475-59 13 74

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