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Thursday, April 11, 2002
Maybe Arafat can get a European trademark on terrorism
People often mock the federal government, and correctly so, for having dozens of pages of regulations to control the size of holes in swiss cheese or to define chocolate chip cookies. But at least Washington doesn't do these sorts of things by multinational committee, as the European Union does:
On Tuesday, the 15-member union’s regulatory committee discussed a proposal by the EU Commission to include the Feta cheese on its list of appellation of origin products. These products can only be marketed as such if made in a specific geographical area traditionally linked with the product. However since no votes where taken after the discussion, the vote would have to be postponed for the next committee meeting in the following months.
If the proposal passes, anybody will be allowed to make Feta cheese, but only Greece will be able to call it Feta cheese. Oh, but it gets more bureaucratic, the longer it goes on:
The Commission's proposal envisages a transitional period of 5 years, which would help the cheese producers to adapt.


This proposal will be discussed and voted upon in the next meeting of the member states’ regulatory committee, which is set to be in the next 2 or 3 months. In the absence of an agreement in the committee's next meeting, the question will be referred to the Council of Ministers. If no agreement is reached, the matter will be judged by the Commission, which had already come out in favour of the Greece proposal.
The punchline, such as it is: they came up with this proposal years ago, but it was overruled by the European Court, who ordered them to reconsider whether or not Feta cheese was a generic term.

And these people expect to be taken seriously as an international political, economic, and military force?

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