Flushed with the success of its five-year effort to restore prosperity to Greece, Brussels’ eurocrats have turned their attention to Italy, and ruled that the country’s famous buffalo mozzarella need not be made with fresh milk: powdered milk will do just fine. So Italy will have to repeal a 1974 law that bans the use of powdered and condensed milk in cheese, reports the Financial Times. It seems that insistence on the use of fresh milk is a verboten “restriction on the free movement of goods” throughout the EU, and therefore interferes with the creation of a single market. The very market that includes heavily subsidized French agricultural goods.
The last foray into food markets by EU bureaucrats came a cropper. Two years ago they ordained that olive oil “presented at a restaurant table” must be in factory-packaged bottles with tamper-proof, “hygienic” nozzles, and labeled to meet Brussels’ standards. Traditional olive oil jugs, cruets and glazed terracotta dipping bowls were to become the contents of the ash-can of history. Since most of Europe’s almost two million hospitality enterprises serve food, the eurocracy undoubtedly found the thought of enlarging its payrolls to include the new inspectorate terribly attractive. Alas, public reaction was, to put it mildly, negative, due to consumers’ “misunderstanding” of what is good for them, according to the European Commissioner for Agriculture. Nevertheless, he withdrew the measure “to demonstrate that “I’ve been alive to the current debate in the press.” It helped, according to The Telegraph, that the father of the then-president of the European Commission, the ag commissioner’s boss, was among the small artisanal olive oil producers who would have been hurt by their inability to meet the new requirements.