You’re Not a Socialist Until You Regulate Vegetable Stands

Ananova reports that an English fellow who sold extra vegetables from his garden had a rather unpleasant incursion with EU authorities:

A man who sells leftover vegetables from his garden to passers-by has been ordered to comply with EU rules on weights and measures. The Northumberland landowner was amazed to receive a warning from trading standards officials after they spotted an honesty box next to his stall, reports the Daily Telegraph.

They ordered James Cookson, who says he takes between £5 and £10 a week selling vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste, to meet European Union requirements. Officials from Northumberland County Council told him the parsnips, spinach and leeks grown in his walled garden should be sold by metric weight, following EU rules, and sent him four pages of guidance.

Mr Cookson, who owns Meldon Park Estate, near Morpeth, said: “We sold five parsnips from the stall last week and there was £1 in the honesty box.

A county council spokeswoman said: “The advice that was given in the letter was to help explain how to sell fruit and vegetables in the correct manner to meet national guidelines.

“Even small stalls have the same responsibilities as large retailers, but we are not pursuing the stall owner for any wrongdoing; we are offering advice and guidance on how to meet the produce-selling requirements.”

This ditty gives new meaning to squeezing water from turnips. It also reminds me that we in the US aren’t socialist at all, compared to Northumberland…

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  • Beu

    It is obvious that this law wasn’t written to apply to people like Mr. Cookson. What ever happened to observing the spirit of the law instead of being anal retentive about everything.

  • Mark Parker

    But just wait until the Lemonade Stand Police get news of this story and watch them spring into action!!! Our tax money at work for us! :)

  • Savvy Villian

    If anyone was in question of how bad the global market is… this was an act of Scrooge McDuckery on the part if the EU. The oppression of the people will lead to an uprising that will produce criminals. I just quiver at the thought of how many crime would go up in the US if immigrants weren’t allowed to sell produce just for a few extra bucks (on the side of the road [Mexicans], in Chinatown, etc). At the same time though, the government has to get it’s cut, that’s how the game is played.