The end of eggs in dozens? – come on, it's too hot for an anti-EU rant

The Usual Suspects have today been getting hot under the collar about the absolute certainty that the EU is going to ban the sale of eggs in dozens. We’ll have to have them in 1.923 kgs packs in future. Man the ramparts! Pull up the drawbridge! It’s an outrage! An attack on the British way of life! Bring on the photo of a bulldog in a Union Jack waistcoat!

Blimey. Is it really worth getting hot and bothered about this? It’s not going to happen. It never does. I’ve gone back to the original story in the Grocer magazine about the passage of EU Food Labelling legislation. There has been an exemption (enjoyed by all countries in the EU) to nominate goods to be sold by number rather than weight. The exemption has been dropped from the legislation as it goes through the EU Parliament.

As it stands, worst case, from what I can read, the egg industry will still be able to sell eggs in boxes of a dozen or half a dozen, but they won’t be able to write “12 eggs” or “6 eggs” on the boxes. They’ll have to write the weights instead. 

However, I then dive down to the bottom of the story in the Grocer and read a bit not repeated by other publications such as the Telegraph:

“…When food industry lobbyists tried to rectify the omission with an amendment, after it was discovered in the 174 pages of amendments to the initial 75-page proposal, there was not enough time to convince members of its importance before the crucial vote”, …added (Gordon Polson, Director of the Federation of Bakers).

…But with a second reading still to come, the BRC (British Retail Consortium) spokesman…(said): “There is still time for this to be changed. We are pushing hard.”

-As will be all the other countries. So in other words, this is not going to happen. So why does it consume the anger of the right wing media today?

They appear to be pandering to a national inferiority complex.

Hang loose and chill out, say I.

By the way, I loved this comment from the Grocer’s editor:

The scary thing is this legislation was the EU’s attempt to simplify and rationalise labelling systems. Instead it’s created a monster, with several unattractive heads. The Daily Mail is going to have a field day.

…A prediction which proved to be spot-on.


12 thoughts on “The end of eggs in dozens? – come on, it's too hot for an anti-EU rant

  1. Ah, but it’s cool now.

    You mean, right wing press like the Sun, who will undoubtedly do their nuts over this, nd rightly so? Er…but didn’t they support Labour until they switched to the Conservatives?

    I do get the hump when every mortal – and often rightful – criticism of the EU is spun as of right wing origin.

    When I organised my town’s, initially DIY, and later IWAR referendum on the nefarious Lisbon Constitutional Treaty, I was branded a right wing extremist by my, then, Labour MP: when the old git knew that I was a life long Liberal. Liberals aren’t exactly renowned for being right wing extremists, are we?

    When Tony Benn very kindly came out in support of our referendum, my MP claimed that it wasn’t so: that TB was not supporting us, despite my MP having received a personal letter from Mr Benn telling confirming TB’s support.

    Tell me something, Paul, which bit of Tony Benn is right wing?

    And why do Europhiles so often collapse back on spin to defend the indefensible EU?

  2. As for those eggs: why the flipping heck should the EU have the right to dictate such things to us? It’s irrational, it’s utter madness and it’s none of their damn businesses. The EU should keep their noses out of our national affairs. Ah, but of course, that wouldn’t allow then to build dictatorial, bureaucratic empires crammed with nice little earners for rejected politicians and their pals, would it?

  3. “You mean, right wing press like the Sun,”

    No, it was on the front page of the Mail on Sunday yesterday, and in the Telegraph.

    “why the flipping heck should the EU have the right to dictate such things to us?”

    Well they’re not – that’s the whole point. It’s likely to be overturned by all the countries in the second reading.

  4. Ok, accepted. But…

    Why should our pressurised parliament waste its time and our money on such absurdities, solely to sustain the wealth and privileges of an army of greedy, self aggrandising, pointless and elitist EU bureaucrats?

    And how about the other c 80% of our laws which the EU is said to dictate to us, many of them ill conceived and unworkable absurdities which damage our community ethos and massively damage our businesses and economy with mountains of pointless bureaucratic red tape?

    One example: we have had three versions of the Asylum and Immigration, Prevention of Illegal Working Act; you know the one Baroness Scotland created then found so absurdly complex that she herself breached it. Thanks to the contradictory hoops UK legislators have had to jump through in a failed attempt to meet the absurd dictats of the EU, each version of this Act has been unworkable and more than a little insane and discriminatory.

    Let me tell you how insane it is. When I rang the Home Office Employers’ helpline on the day one version of the Act came into force, to ask how I was to cope with its contradictory ID (right to work) and equality requirements, I was told to ask every job applicant for their passport or official overseas ID documents to ensure I properly checked ID without discriminating against overseas applicants, largely EU nationals.

    When I pointed out that c 12% of British nationals have never ever had passports or the documents referred to and explained that this requirement of the government’s had made these people unemployable, the line went silent. I was eventually told that the Home Office would ‘get back to me’. Of course they never did.

    • “Why should our pressurised parliament waste its time and our money on such..”

      They are attempting to simplify the food labelling regulations. OK, in this small detail amongst hundreds of provisions, they have made a mistep, but the intention is simplification which surely we all support – yes?

  5. Simplification would not be necessary if an army of overpaid EU bureaucrats was not constantly passing unnecessary, complex regulations in order to invent work for themselves. Why don’t our MEPs sort them out? Because many of them have better things to do, like this:

    What are you going to call the German film unit: Little Englanders?

  6. Trying to fix something that ain’t broke more like.

    I’d rather the EU focus on big business from wrecking our economy and putting pressure on countries that abuse human rights. After all, it is the apparent ability for greater bargaining power on the world stage that is often used as one of the big reasons for a Union.

    I do agree, this seems to be a storm in an egg-cup, but I fail to see how it makes labelling easier. 3 large eggs is easier for me to understand than 180g worth of eggs.

  7. So, when you break-open you half a dozen of free-range (of course) eggs, if they don’t measure up, you can report them to the weights and measures mob!

  8. Pingback: Completely untrue right-wing media story about banning the sale of eggs in dozens

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