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EU Struggles to Find Evidence Against Restaurants Serving Olive Oil in Jugs

by Kathy Jones on May 24, 2013 at 8:11 PM
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 EU Struggles to Find Evidence Against Restaurants Serving Olive Oil in Jugs

The European Commission revealed that it will no longer be pursuing a ban on restaurants serving olive oil to diners in jugs after struggling to come up with any evidence to support such a ban.

European Union Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos took to a regular media podium to perform a U-turn that spawned a string of Twitter gags and reaction, but stuck to his line that restaurateurs are potentially misleading customers by pouring cheap or old oil into containers presented as new.

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"We want to avoid consumers being tricked," said Ciolos of the rationale behind the decision announced last week, after a committee of agricultural experts failed to muster the required qualified majority in favour.

But Ciolos added: "Since Friday, I have seen and heard...strong views expressed by ... consumers."

He said he now recognised that the ban was "not formulated in such a way as to assemble widespread support."
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"As a consequence, I am withdrawing the proposition."

Olive oil-producing countries from the southern Mediterranean were in favour of tightening the regulations to ensure oil was clearly labelled, whereas northen European countries -- consumers -- were against.

Ciolos said he would now put producers, traders, restaurateurs and diners "round the same table" in a bid to "find a better way."

Asked why he had not attempted to apply similar restrictions on wine in eateries, the Romanian Commissioner -- top EU executives are famously well rewarded in Brussels -- had this to say.

"I have rarely found an open bottle of wine served on my table."

Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, a member of the European Parliament committee tasked with monitoring this policy area, tweeted that the "olive oil proposal was, after all, virgin on the ridiculous."

Source: AFP
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