Europeans know what an egg is
The Wall Street Journal‘s latest example of why unbridled market capitalism is undeniably the best system in the world? Curvy cucumbers.
As of next July, the EU will lift longstanding rules dictating the appropriate size and shape of 26 different kinds of fruits and vegetables, from apricots to walnuts. Goodbye, red tape; hello, curvy cucumber.
For decades the EU has spent much of its time issuing minute rules that govern the use of mayonnaise, the definition of an egg, the diameter of a peach. All this was in the name of “consumer protection” — as if European grocery shoppers might just drop dead at the sight of a misshapen carrot.
Sure, it’s easy to make fun of the EU for regulating “the definition of an egg.” And I’m not denying that Brussels was probably a bit caught up in bureaucratizing Brussels sprouts; if the proposed EU constitution a couple years back — hundreds of pages touching on topics as arcane as fishing rights off Slovenia (or something) — is any indication, the EU tends to err on the side of obsessively comprehensive. But the WSJ‘s argument seems a little specious; while it may seem obvious what an egg is, it’s also probably in the concern of safety and consumer health that rules are made governing what can pass for food. So before the Journal‘s high-minded editorial board scoffs reflexively at Europe’s penchant for excessive regulation, perhaps they should have a taste of what I’m sure some swindlers are trying to pass for eggs on the continent.
(image from flickr user Andy2Boyz under a Creative Commons license)
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