Pure German beer & smelly French cheese
are forever, says EC commissioner
Agence France Presse English Wire, 3/26/92


Standardised mediocrity will never deprive the European Community of pure German beer, smelly French cheeses or other regional specialities, EC Industry Commissioner Martin Bangemann said here Thursday. Asked by journalists whether the EC's single market, to be launched next year, would mean regulating regional specialities such as Camembert cheese out of existence, he said: "That's nonsense. The contrary is true."

European gourmands are regularly horrified by reports that the single market could impose uniform health or competition standards banning raw milk in French cheese-making or stopping Germany from maintaining its beer purity laws.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, struck a chord earlier this month in Paris when he warned against the prospect of EC "bacteriological police" stamping out traditional regional specialities in the name of hygiene. But Bangemann repeated his reply to the prince, that such "recipe laws" were out of the question and that health risks could be met by using labels to identify products not conforming to general standards.

He added: "We have even allowed exotic challenges to taste in Britain." This was a reference to proposals from the EC's bureaucracy that certain additives be banned from British crisps -- which would have meant an end to such flavours as "prawn cocktail", considered bizarre to the non-British European.

© 1992 by Agence France Presse. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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