- European Commission in the UK - https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK -

Brussels may ban mushy peas

As from December 1995 the European Commission is outlawing Britain’s traditional mushy peas.

Daily Telegraph, p3, 9 August 1995
Today, p2, 9 August 1995
Daily Mail, p13, 10 August 1995
The Sun, p3, 10 August 1995
Daily Mirror, p9, 10 August 1995
Daily Express, p23, 10 August 1995
Western Daily Press, 10 August 1995
Western Morning News, 10 August 1995
Evening Mail, p4, 10 August 1995
Independent on Sunday, p18, 13 August 1995
Sunday Express, p37, 13 August 1995
Sunday Times, p29, 27 August 1995

This is not entirely correct. The European Commission consulted extensively with Governments and the food industry before drafting a Directive governing colours in foodstuffs, and permitting those colours to be harmless. The Directive was subsequently adopted by the European Parliament and the Council (94/36/EC), and came into force in December 1996.

One of the Directive’s general principles is that fresh and processed vegetables may not be coloured. However certain exceptions are allowed, and were introduced into the legislation following requests from Member States and the food industry. Thus the Directive allows the use of three colours (E102, E133 and E142) in ‘processed mushy and garden peas’, ie. tinned mushy peas.
Neither the UK Government nor the food industry requested a similar derogation (exception) for frozen mushy peas.