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Saturday 28 December 2013

EU Haters In A Cinnamon Whirl

For once, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has taken an interest in an EU member state that is not the UK. And his thoughts are with Denmark right now, as his latest propaganda screed for the Daily Express (aka Daily UKIP) showed. “Might I suggest that if you have room you squeeze in a cinnamon danish before the EU bans them?” he asked, because nobody is banning cinnamon any time soon.
So, if cinnamon is not being banned, what is? After all, the Daily Mail also has this story, offering “Is this the end of the cinnamon roll? Traditional Danish pastries under threat after EU threatens ban on the spice”, which is also wrong (see above). Even the Mirror hasA proposed European Union limit on the amount of cinnamon used in baked goods could see the end of Denmark's traditional festive pastries”.

And from the start, the Mail presents this as an open-and-shut case: “Brussels has sparked outrage in Denmark by proposing to outlaw their traditional pastries. Christmas festivities have been dampened in Copenhagen by the prospect that this could be the last year its citizens will be able to eat their kanelsnegler or cinnamon rolls”. This, however, is bullshit.

We know this as Danish journalist Ole Ryborg has set out the facts in an article for DR which you can read right HERE. There are two types of cinnamon involved: real or Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum), on which there is no restriction, and certainly no ban, and Chinese or Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum Cassia), quantities of which are to be restricted in foodstuffs on sale throughout the EU.

The restriction on Cassia cinnamon is because it contains coumarin, which has the potential to cause liver damage. Some hacks and politicians say that consumers would have to take in such large quantities that this would not be possible, but that assumes that the only exposure to coumarin and other liver-damaging substances are through eating Kanelsneglen, or Cinnamon Snails.

Those are the “traditional pastries” the Mail is banging on about. Many bakeries in Denmark are using Cassia cinnamon in those pastries as it is cheaper, but they have a straightforward alternative: use the real stuff and pay the higher cost, which, spread over the number of pastries involved, would hardly be onerous. On top of all that, Danish politicians have voted overwhelmingly for the new rules.

So “Brussels” is not banning anything, showing that Farage is as honest as the day is long, providing that day is December 21st. All that is happening is that bakers have to reduce levels of the more harmful Cassia cinnamon, or use the real thing. Those lower levels were agreed between member states a full five years ago. Only now, in a slow news period, has the UK press woken up and taken advantage.

And the only reason for that is to frighten the readers. No change there, then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More grist for the EU hatred mill.
"Greggs forced to rename their Cornish pasties by the EU because they contain peas and carrots"
Read on and you'll find this was at the request of the Cornish Pasty Association. Greggs isn't concerned either.