No More Eggs by the Dozen: EU Micromanages British Sales

File this under one of the most ridiculous egregious examples of big government micromanagement that I’ve ever seen. British food merchants are now forbidden to sell products by the number (i.e. a dozen eggs, rolls, et al.) and are told they must sell by weight only. It’s also forbidden to put the weight AND the number of items on the package. Why? Because the EU is crazy. Hi, welcome to big government.

Until now, Britain has been exempt from EU regulations that forbid the selling of goods by number. But last week MEPs voted to end Britain’s deal despite objections from UK members.

The new rules will mean that instead of packaging telling shoppers a box contains six eggs, it will show the weight in grams of the eggs inside, for example 372g.

Or that a bag of white rolls has 322g inside instead of half a dozen. The rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed.


The move could cost retailers millions of pounds because of changes they will have to make to packaging and labelling, as well as the extra burden of weighing each box of food before it is put on sale.

The cost is likely to be passed on to shoppers through higher grocery bills.

The cost that merchants will be forced to incur complying with this law will be astronomical. Yes, at a time when the world economy is teetering on the edge, let’s make it more difficult for families to afford food! Let’s raise the cost of their groceries as a way to help them. If you told me that Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter was writing these regulations I would be completely unsurprised.

Look how much time they have on their hands:

The new labelling row is the latest in a long line of European Union food policy scandals.

The EU passed a directive in 1994 ruling that top-of-the-range bananas had to be ‘free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers’. The directive was ridiculed as a symbol of bureaucratic excess in Brussels.

In 1988, it ruled that top-of-the-range cucumbers must bend by only 10mm per 10cm in a directive designed to help packaging and transport.

In 1979, another directive ruled that carrots should be termed as fruits, as the Portuguese made jam out of them.

In 2003, a threatened European ban on smoky-bacon crisps was averted at the last minute when MEPs forced through amendments after a backlash from the British public.

Finger-curved bananas? Ghastly! But a ban on bacon crisps? ATROCITY. David Cameron will meet his first test as prime minister going toe-to-toe with the EU over this.

If cap-and-tax passes we’ll face a similar intrusion.