Saturday, February 10, 2007

EU laws threaten Earl Grey tea

The producers of the citrus fruit bergamot, which is unique to Earl Grey tea, will not be able to afford to comply with the new EU Reach directive. Under the health and safety regulations the bergamot oil, which is mainly used in the production of perfume, is classified as potentially poisonous and is therefore required to be tested and registered with the European Chemical Agency.

The extra £35,000 cost this would entail is beyond the means of the small Italian farms which grow the commodity and may lead to the farms changing the crops they grow.

They tried to straighten bananas, they're talking of doing away with the pint, but the Brussels bureaucrats have taken a step too far. Sign away our inalienable rights under Magna Carta but dammit, we won't stand for Johnny Foreigner buggering about with our tea! That's really taking the rich tea biscuit!


Blogger Lightning said...

Maybe the European tossers should get their selves a real job. The sooner we are free of them the better. Keep Britain British.

Sat Feb 10, 09:46:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Les Paul Junior said...

Civil insurrection must follow : with a break at 3pm for a cup of Earl Grey!

What next? The abolition of fish and chips?

Are we the only European nation to be assaulted in this way? It seems stupid that they have bullfights in Spain (if, indeed, they still do) but we can't have Earl Grey Tea!

Sun Feb 11, 05:35:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Joe said...

This is another case of the Daily Express looking for any way to twist something. Thus, Italian farmers deciding to stop producing bergamot becomes 'EU threatens Earl Grey tea'.

The facts are:

Many essential oils can be dangerous (especially carcinogenic or skin and respiratory sensitisers), therefore they cannot be excluded from registration and testing requirements of REACH.

The fact that they are natural products does not make them harmless. There are other natural but very harmful substances and we should find out about such dangerous properties - this is what REACH does.

The impacts for small farmers are exaggerated because:

- Manufacturers of substances can have to register a substance under REACH jointly (one substance - one registration principle, for which the UK government fought hard during its EU Presidency)

- If the substance is produced below 1 tonne per year per producer, it is exempted from registration unless it is already classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction)

- If a substance is produced between 1 and 10t per year per producer, no new testing is necessary for registration under REACH, just the existing information has to be submitted, which should be very cheap.

- If a product is used in cosmetics, it also falls under the sector-specific cosmetics legislation and the health risks of these substances must already have been assessed under the cosmetics legislation. The only thing REACH requires manufacturers to do then is to check the additional risks for worker safety and environment, which again should be very cheap in low volumes.

Bergamot oil is considered by the "European Flavour and Fragrance Association" as

Xn - harmful
N - dangerous for the environment
R 10 - flammable
R 38 - irritating to skin
43 - may cause sensitization to the skin
50/53 - very toxic for the aquatic environment, may cause long-term harm to the aquatic environment
65 - dangerous, may cause lung damage if swallowed

Mon Feb 12, 11:51:00 AM GMT  
Blogger ja said...

What a joke.. what next.

Mon Feb 12, 08:40:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Gavin Corder said...

Of course "Joe" here who's profile A website called Europa for the European Commission who's site description is,

"The European Commission embodies and upholds the general interest of the Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system."

So no axe to grind there then! Still glad to know I'm on their RADAR.

Wed Feb 14, 12:48:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Sarnia said...

Joe - I don't think any of us read the Daily Express - anyway - isn't it obsessed only with the deceased Diana, Princess of Wales?

Thank GOD Guernsey isn't part of the EU!

Things still sold in pounds and ounces; new EU law on vitamins and health products won't apply and I expect we'll still be able to get Earl Grey tea.

Fri Feb 16, 12:32:00 AM GMT  
Blogger Les Paul Junior said...

As Bob Mortimer once said "Something is definitely up!" I click on what I think is someone's profile link (to find out more about the mysterious Joe) and I get a page all about the European Union. Hmmmm.

Sat Feb 17, 07:53:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Tim said...

Earl Grey? Urgh! You're supposed to just smell perfume, not drink it. Plain old (figuratively) B.O.P. for me thanks.

Thu Feb 22, 06:33:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Gavin Corder said...

Oi Tim! I reckon you are my historical multinamed chum... Why did you delete your blog? I hadn't finished reading all that beautifully researched history!

Fri Feb 23, 10:52:00 AM GMT  
Blogger Tim said...

Beautifully researched history? lol. Not deleted it, just closed it down whilst I recharge my batteries and also shake off a stalker who has been plaguing me for upwards of a year, and yes it's a female one, lol.
For some reason I seem to attract the psycho ones :s
She seeks me here, she seeks me there, that stalker seeks me everywhere...and I can't think of a suitable ending so I'll leave it there.

Fri Feb 23, 08:51:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Gavin Corder said...

Ignore the bunny boiler and put it back then! I was reading it!

Fri Feb 23, 09:09:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Gavin Corder said...

An idea!

Or you could send me instalments by email.

Start with Harold II.

Fri Feb 23, 09:10:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Tim said...

Been away for a bit as I got caught up in this argument over the Jacobovici nonsense, but ok I shall consider that last request, lol.

Sun Mar 11, 01:12:00 AM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, i'm not english, but I love earl grey tea. is there really a big whoopti-doo over the bergamot ? breakfast cup holds 24 ounces of earl grey.
bob b. tx usa.

Tue Apr 08, 01:59:00 PM GMT+1  

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