Double standards for some food products in Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe

Some food products sold in the Romanian market are different in quality from similar products sold in stores in Western Europe. That conclusion was reached by the Romanian authorities after an analysis conducted by them. The Romanian Agriculture Ministry, the Food Safety Authority and the National Consumer Protection Agency published the results from the comparison of 29 food products, which are sold in Romanian chain stores, with similar products, bought from stores in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. It was established that in 9 of these products there were differences in the ingredients and calorie content. Some of the researched products were pate, canned fish and pork sausage.

The Romanian Agricultural Minister Petre Daea confirmed that his country will insist in front of the European Commission for the establishment of instruments, which would make possible the assessment of such double standards in any member state of the EU at any time.

Other countries from Eastern and Central Europe conducted their own research as well. The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency researched 31 products, which are sold under the same name in Bulgaria and in Western Europe (products from Germany and Austria were used for the purposes of the research). 24 of these products had identical labels, but the other 7 had differences. Among them were some types of non-alcoholic beverages, energy drinks, natural juices and children foods.

It is noted, that the food products are safe and correctly labeled, but there simply shouldn’t be any difference in the labeling of similar products sold under the same name and brand.

Bulgarian Agricultural Minister Rumen Porojanov stated that the taste qualities of some identical products are different as well. For example, the taste of milk in the cheese sold in stores in Western Europe is much more pronounced than the taste of the same cheese sold in Bulgarian stores.

Besides that, minister Porojanov said that the much higher price of some products in Bulgarian stores is bewildering. Some dairy products are sold 20% to 70% more expensive than in Western Europe. The difference can go up to 90-100% for some baby purees. According to the minister, such differences in prices are not logical and can’t be justified only with transport costs.

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia are some of the other countries, which are conducting research on the lower quality of some foods sold in their countries compared to foods sold in the western markets.

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