The so-called pro-Brexit "myth" of an EU ban on smokey-bacon flavour potato chips is now set to become reality, with EU member states giving the green light to the prohibition late last month. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas - WPA Pool/Getty Images)


Brexit ‘myth’ de-busted: EU to ban smoky-bacon crisps


The so-called pro-Brexit “myth” of a European Union ban on smoky-bacon flavour potato crisps is now set to become reality after Member States gave the go-ahead for the prohibition late in April.

Pro-EU publications repeatedly claimed that EU attempts to ban certain flavours of crisps were false, linking the alleged lies to a broader smear campaign targeted at Brussels.

The ban has now been given the final green light by Member States, with Europe set to prohibit all eight methods of adding artificial smoke flavourings to food, including crisps.

According to a press release by the European Commission, the ban is justified by the fact that each method – developed as a purportedly healthier way of adding the flavouring to meats and other items that usually cannot be smoked – could in fact be carcinogenic.

“The relevant decisions are based on scientific assessments by the European Food Safety Authority [EFSA], which concluded that for all eight smoke flavourings assessed, genotoxicity concerns are either confirmed or can’t be ruled out,” the body said, adding that many products using the methods will now need to be phased out within the next two years.

That has sparked serious concern within Ireland’s agricultural sector in particular, which warned that the new prohibition could negatively affect its €30 billion EU goods market.

Ireland’s former enterprise minister Simon Coveney is said to have aired such fears in a letter to European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, warning that the move could result in the “discontinuation of a wide range of products currently on the market”.

“It is estimated that up to 300 products will be affected, with one individual company advising that 27 of their products would be affected,” he is reported as having said, asking for an extended stay of execution on the flavouring methods to allow industry players to drum up alternatives.

Coveney’s request – in which he also appealed to EU ‘green’ values by saying artificial smoking methods are better for the environment – appears to have fallen on deaf ears, with the EU issuing no such delays to the ban’s implementation.