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“Made in Hungary” label in defiance of EU warning

July 21st, 2012

A right-wing commentator suspects that the European Commission intends to protect the interests of big multinational producers with its criticism of the new Hungarian government decree on “Made in Hungary” labels.

Despite concerns expressed by the European Commission about the draft, on Wednesday 18 June the government adopted the text of a decree specifying three categories of Hungarian-made foodstuffs:

  1. Hungarian produce (made from exclusively Hungarian ingredients);
  2. Made in Hungary (containing imported ingredients, e.g. rice in traditional liverwurst);
  3. Processed in Hungary (from exclusively imported ingredients, e.g. cocoa in chocolates).

The Commission argued that the decree, by implicitly but clearly inviting the public to buy Hungarian products, contradicts the basic EU principle of the free circulation of goods.

In Magyar Hírlap, Szilveszter Szarvas believes that rather than intending to protect the Hungarian customer, the Commission wants to protect “those truckloads of garbage” arriving from Europe and ending up on the shelves of Hungarian hypermarkets. The public, he continues, is entitled to be informed about the quality and the origin of products. “Our friends in the Union might find more sensible pastimes instead of cultivating senseless Hungarophobia,” Szarvas concludes.

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