NOVEMBER 16, 2008: The curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot may have a new lease of lifewith an imminent decision to scrap EU laws banning imperfect-lookingfruit and vegetables.

Marketing standards for 26 fruit and vegetables, which led to a lot of less-than-perfect items being thrown away, are to be repealed.The change in EU thinking was prompted not by an acknowledgment that the rules should never have been introduced but by a belated decision that they were inappropriate during a food crisis. The ban will remain in place until July next year.The rules have supplied Eurosceptics with valuable ammunition in their campaign to highlight the perceived excessive interference of the EU. Current regulations say cucumbers “must be reasonably well shaped and practically straight (maximum height of the arc: 10mm per 10cm of the length of cucumber)”.UK Independence leader and MEP Nigel Farage welcomed the decision to drop the rules. “This is a rare moment of sense in an otherwise mad world,” he said.

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