Bulgaria launches new probe into ‘double standards’ in food compared with Central Europe

A new study on double standards for food in Bulgaria and in Central Europe is being prepared by Bulgaria’s Food Safety Agency and Economy Ministry.

This was announced on February 6 by the head of Bulgaria’s food control directorate, Lyubomir Kulinsky, in an interview with public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television.

Kulinsky said that sampling for analysis of products from the market in Bulgaria and in four Central European countries would soon begin.

He said that there would be comparative analysis of brands and their contents as sold in Bulgaria and the equivalents in the Central European countries. The results of this analysis would be announced, Kulinsky said.

This is the third in a series of such tests by Bulgaria, after the country became one of several to raise the issue.

In October 2017, Bulgarian Agriculture Minister Roumen Porozhanov said that tests had established that a number of food products sold in Bulgaria by multinational companies had ingredients that differed from the equivalents sold in Austria and Germany. Sixteen of the 31 products tested were being sold at higher prices, he said.

Earlier, in May 2017, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov had announced the investigation, calling the differences between food products sold in Bulgaria and elsewhere in Europe “unacceptable and insulting”.

In October 2017, the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia called on the European Commission to fight “double standards” in the quality of food.

On February 2 2018, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova called for the double standard of food products in the EU to be on the list of illegal business practices in the EU.

Should this be approved, it would mean that consumers would be able to sue a company over the practice.

The list is to be reviewed by the European Commission in April.

A working group with representatives from 15 EU countries is drafting a control mechanism to counter the practice of double standards in food products in the bloc.

(Photo: Bartosz Wac³awski/ freeimages.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292