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Myths and chips

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

World-renowned scientists – and not “barmy EU chiefs”, as The Sun has it – have produced a report for the European Commission on how the oceans, notably through acquaculture, can produce more food, more sustainably.

This is a crucial global challenge, with the world’s population forecast to reach a possible 10 billion by 2050.

The report does, as The Sun says, recommend among other things producing more mussels, oysters, cockles, clams and – yes – seaweed, all of which have of course been eaten in the UK for a long time.

It does not say people should stop eating fish and chips. Indeed, its recommendations aim to allow for the sustainable production of more, not less, of the types of fish that Brits and many others enjoy eating with chips.

These are recommendations by a group of eminent scientists, including Sir Paul Nurse of London’s Francis Crick Institute.

Any EU policy changes would, as usual, need to be proposed by the European Commission and approved, after amendment, by elected members of the European Parliament and by ministers from national governments.

Sun readers can be reassured: despite the codswallop, many “EU bureaucrats” themselves, “barmy” or not, enjoy fish and chips (and mushy peas, which the British press accused the EU of banning back in 1995, but which are miraculously still with us). They – we – want everyone else to carry on doing so, too.

Oh, and cod is still called cod as well despite these media stories from 2001 claiming it would have to be sold in the chippie by its Latin name.

Potato prices set to soar due to bad crop and EU rules

Wednesday, January 18th, 1995

Myth: The price of a bag of chips is set to soar due to the rocketing cost of potatoes. A universally poor potato crop throughout Europe, combined with EU rules, has meant that continentals are able to grab British stocks, forcing up the price immensely.
Source: The Sun (18th January 1995)

Response: The fact that the potato has suffered a bad season and stocks are being brought up
by others keen to supplement their own ailing markets has nothing to do with the EU, its Common Agricultural Policy nor the Single Market. Indeed there is no Common Market Organisation in the field of potatoes, thus the EU has no powers to regulate the market. The fact that traders from continental Europe are buying British potatoes, at a higher price than normal, is their way of dealing with an unusually poor crop.

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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