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April 14, 2010 12:33 PM
Originally published by Liz Lynne
Fruit stall in a market.

Wonky carrots and curved cucumbers saved again after action by LibDem MEPs

Liberal Democrat Euro-MPs have played a key role in ensuring that crooked carrots and curvy cucumbers can continue to be sold in shops.

They have voted down a bid by Spanish MEPs to restore old EU rules that restricted the sale of imperfect-looking fruit and vegetables.

The controversial proposal to reinstate the 'community marketing rules' gained the support of the European Parliament's agriculture committee last month, but it was heavily defeated by a vote of all MEPs at the end of last month.

West Midlands Liberal Democrat Liz Lynne MEP welcomed the rejection of a scheme which she said had in the past led to perfectly healthy fruit and veg being thrown away.

She said: "I want EU rules to ensure that food on sale is safe to eat, but shoppers can make up their own minds about whether to buy bendy bananas or crooked carrots."

But the MEP admitted that supermarkets often responded to consumer demand by telling farmers only to supply them with good looking produce.

Liz commented: "People say they want choice, but unfortunately the majority of shoppers tend to avoid buying fruit and vegetables that they think look strange, even though they are perfectly good to eat."