Postcard from Europe: The Precautionary Principle in Action

From: The Telegraph

Traditional Danish pastries threatened by EU cinnamon ban
Proposals for an EU ban on cinnamon rolls have put a dampener on Denmark’s Christmas festivities

By , Brussels

The season’s festivities in Denmark have been overshadowed by the prospect   that it could be the last Danish Christmas before a European Union ban on their beloved kanelsnegle or cinnamon rolls.

The proposed ban followed plans by Denmark’s food safety agency to implement EU regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coumarin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in the most commonly used type of cinnamon, cassia.

Under Danish interpretation of the EU legislation the amount of cinnamon in “everyday fine baked goods” will be limited to 15mg per kilo meaning a ban on Kanelsnegler pastries, a winter favourite in all Nordic countries, which take their name from their coiled snail shape.

The move has provoked a furious reaction from Danish bakers because neighbouring Sweden has decided to save their spicy pastries, known as Kanelbullar in Swedish, by classing them as a traditional and seasonal dish with a permitted cinnamon level over three times higher, at 50mg per kilo.

“It’s the end of the cinnamon roll as we know it,” said Hardy Christensen, the head of the Danish Baker’s Association.

“Cinnamon rolls are of course a traditional Danish baked product. We’ve been making bread and cakes with cinnamon for 200 years.”

Following the row, dubbed “cinnamon-gate”, the Danish food authorities have given kanelsnegle a temporary reprieve until next February while insisting “consumers should not run a risk when they eat cinnamon rolls”.

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