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  • Food Fight!

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on May 2nd, 2006 (All posts by )

    Imaginary Press
    In a further escalation of the long-running trade battle between the United States and the European Union, certain exports of American snack foods and treats are being scrutinized by the EU Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. According to Jean-Pierre Retard, Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Desserts, some of the packaging and branding of American foods is not in “harmony” with European labeling standards. Under EU laws, protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG) are restricted to regional foods. Thus it is impossible in Europe to buy champagne, burgundy, gruyère or camembert that did not originate in specific regions of France, while they can all be made in the same factory in New Jersey and sold throughout the United States without restriction. Some brands of American “cheese” products, notably those sold in pressurized aerosol cans, can be entirely manufactured from petroleum distillates without the slightest hint of milk from any mammal on the planet. Cheez-Whiz, for example, originated from an experimental version of Silly String, according to a prominent food expert. This looseness of description and labeling is frowned upon in the EU.

    The first rumblings of the disagreement stemmed from the efforts of the American company Häagen-Dazs to sell ice cream in Europe. Despite the exotic-sounding name, the brand originated in the Bronx and its name does not mean anything at all in any extant language, although it resembles an obscenity in Etruscan. This was allowed after some debate. More recently, the proposed introduction of the Moon Pie was challenged by European confectioners and bakers on the grounds that the name misrepresented the origin of the product, and besides, it’s not really a pie. While that case was pending before the Directorate, another American company attempted to introduce another American confection also mislabeled as a pie, the Eskimo Pie. This caused an immediate uproar. Protestors from the quiescent dessert industry in France dumped ice, ice cream, and sherbet onto roadways, causing massive traffic jams and multiple-car pileups as drivers skidded in the sweet slush. French members of the European Parliament objected that Eskimo Pies were not only not pies, but they contained no Eskimos or Eskimo by-products, were not made by Eskimos, and in fact, Eskimos did not particularly like them. When the company was sold to a Canadian firm, the outcry was even louder, since Canada has an abundant supply of Eskimos.

    While the EU ponders its decision, the makers of the original Whoopie Pie have returned to the laboratory to refine their recipe for the European market. To avoid the problems other American packaged desserts have had, Whoopie engineers are developing a product tailored to European requirements which will emit a rude noise when sat upon.

     

    6 Responses to “Food Fight!”

    1. ed in texas Says:

      Furthermore, Swiss-owned Nestle markets “Drumsticks” that have no chicken in them…

    2. Helen Says:

      Heh! I recall meeting somebody from Kellogg’s years ago who was indignant about some snack or other not being allowed into the EU because of various regulations. I pointed out that his company was among those endlessly lambasting the British for dragging their feet over the EU (or Europe, as they preferred to call it). Never seen a middle-ranking executive go so silent so suddenly.

    3. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Would Inuit Block be acceptable?

    4. veryretired Says:

      The lunacy of the EU and its relentless, officious interference in every conceivable aspect of people’s lives is, in fact, a blessing in disguise. I feel the same way about the current PC overdose on college campuses and in politics.

      The more people are forced to live under these utterly vacuous codes and regulations, the more the bankruptcy of this style of repressive governance becomes apparent.

      Just as the Islamicists worst enemies are their own followers and their fanatical, violent repression of anyone who strays into trying to actually live a normal life, so the worst enemy of this bureaucratic stifling of ordinary commerce are its own byzantine rules and petty officialdom.

      People, elitist snobbery CW notwithstanding, are not stupid. If you continuously inject yourself and your obstructionist practices into their everyday lives, they soon get very tired and disgusted with the system which allows such interference, and move to get rid of it.

      If disillusion and a desire for relief from arbitrary rigidity can break down the Berlin Wall and implode the Soviet prison camp, I have little doubt the EU can be dismantled by citizens fed up with being dictated to about everything from the tips of their hair to the soles of their feet.

      Aristocrats, as the EU officialdom certainly believes itself to be, and acts as if it were, are always surprised when the peasants get fed up and set them on fire. After all, at the cocktail parties they have been attending, everybody seemed to agree that things were going their way.

    5. Sandy P Says:

      We’ll see how the BNP does in the upcoming elections.

    6. Helen Says:

      For those who do not live in Britain and, therefore, do not know, the BNP is the British National Party. The main reason why they might do well in the local council elections is the thorny subject of immigration and non-deportation of criminals. Although the party is eurosceptic it rarely becomes involved in detailed arguments about EU regulations, being somewhat socialist and corporatist in their policies themselves.