« Politicians | Main | Augusto Pinochet Dies »

December 11, 2006

More Bowland Dairies

Following on from yesterday's Booker column about Bowland Dairy Products James of England in comments gave us the link to the Scottish version of the legislation.

No person shall place on the market any curd cheese manufactured by Bowland Dairy Products Limited, located at Fulshaw Head Farm, Barrowford, Lancashire BB9 6RA and approved under the number UK PE 23.

As David Gillies noted, this is essentially an Act of Attainder. The original EU legislation is here.

Member States shall prohibit the placing on the market of all curd cheese manufactured by Bowland Dairy Products Limited approved under the number UK PE 23 and located at Fulshaw Hoad Farm, Barrowford, Lancashire BB9 6RA and shall trace, detain and dispose of all remaining quantities of curd cheese of that origin.

Running through the whole document is the argument that this is all about trace antibiotics in milk. They are not saying that there is in fact such: rather, they are saying that they have tested insufficiently. The claim is, so far as I understand it, that simple testing is done in the milk distribution system, to see whether there are any antibiotics in it. If that first simple test shows that there is or might be then it sometimes went to Bowland. They should have then tested to find out exactly what level there was, but didn't. The UK authorities were happy with what Bowland was doing.

That's what the Commission is claiming, anyway.

Here is an interesting Parliamentary debate on the subject, Gwynneth Dunwoody leading the charge (Bowland is in her constituency I think). Quite the most important part is this:

The Court agreed. It was illegal.

That is, that the Court of First Instance found that the Commission's actions were illegal. But still they proceeded and issued the diktat closing Bowland down. From the Dairy Reporter about that judgement:

Lack of access to the most recent inspection evidence left the FSA unable to take part in this week's vote to ban Bowland's curd cheese across the EU.

Follow-up inspections two weeks ago showed little improvement, the Commission said, pointing the finger at UK authorities for failing to act.

The accusations concerning the contaminated milk have rattled the FSA. “They still haven't shared that report with us, we don't know what the full claims are. From our own investigation, we haven't found anything,” said an agency spokesperson to DairyReporter.com.

“We can't just close something down because the Commission tells us to. Until we have the evidence, legally we can't act. We have been asking for the evidence.”

The European bureaucrats would not share the results of the second tests with the UK bureaucrats. Seriously, just didn't tell them.

The Lancashire-based firm recently won a case against the Commission in the European Court of First Instance over the issue of antibiotics residues in its milk. The court ordered the Commission on 12 September to withdraw a food alert warning that Bowland produce was unsafe.

The FSA said it had taken several corrective measures against Bowland since the original Commission inspection in June, but still disagreed with the Commission's interpretation of test results for antibiotics in Bowland's milk.

“There are genuine differences of views on the science behind the testing for antibiotics in milk and these have not yet been resolved.”

Bowland was left fuming by the Commission's decision Friday.

The court said that not only were the Commission's actions illegal they had to withdraw the food alert. The Commissions reaction? That new law which every single one of the 25 countries of the EU MUST pass, deliberately singling out Bowland as a company that no one can deal with. Bankrupt them, make the problem, the cock up, go away.

BTW, as far as I can tell (and I'm not by any means an expert in searching for these things) the judgement has been removed from the website. It's T 212/06 and should be here:

T-212/06   Removed from the register on 29/11/2006, Bowland Dairy Products / Commission

Nice, eh? We can't go back and loook up what the court said.

So, to recap. The EU bureaucrats (FVO) are arguing with the UK bureaucrats (FSO) about exactly how the second set of testing for antibiotic residues in raw milk ought to be conducted. Bowland Dairy Products is somewhere in the middle of all this. They're obeying the law as the FSO both understands and imposes it. So they're obeying the law of the land. The FVO disagrees and gets a blanket banning order on the company's products.

Bowland argues this case in the Court of First Instance who agree that the Commission has acted illegally and that they must withdraw said blanket ban. On a retest of the plant, the FVO did not (whether from malice or incompetence) share the results with the FSO meaning that the legal authority in the UK had no way of taking part in the subsquent discussion over whether the Commission should continue with its illegal activity.

Which they did, passing a law, binding upon every single one of us 450 million EU citizens, making it a jailable offense to place upon the market, or even prepare to place upon the market, production from Bowlands Dairy Products.

So, in conclusion, who is running this country? Us or them? Clearly, them. While they are doing so, are they obeying the rule of law? Are they doing things by the book, as must be done in any approximation of a free and liberal society? No, they aren't, they are deliberately flouting direct court orders restraining their actions.

As David Gillies said:

That is, to all intents and purposes, a Bill of Attainder. Merely leaving the EU is insufficient. These people need killing. Seriously. The reason we chopped Charles I's head off was his riding roughshod over Parliament.

It would appear that the English Civil War is entering its third phase. Who rules? The Monarch or the people? The State or the people? First time round we said the people in the form of their elected representatives. Second time around the Americans made the same decision (note that the Commission's act, being one of Attainder, would be illegal under the US Constitution). Now it appears that we are being asked again. Who rules? Us or them?

The answer may well turn out to be tumbrils and gibbets outside the Berlaymont.



December 11, 2006 in European Union | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference More Bowland Dairies:

» Bowland Dairy Farms, the EU and the rule of law from Magna Carta Plus News
Ive been meaning to cover this story for ages, because it suggests that the rule of law in the EU can be brushed aside by the European Commission, who have ignored a ruling of the European Court of Justice. Tim Worstall reported on the case o... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 2, 2007 8:52:49 PM



It appears that we now live in a a society in which both the EU and our own government rule by mere fiat.

I've long held that 'perception lags reality', which assumption explains an awful lot of what goes on in the world. In our case, it appears that we now live under a tyrannical duopoly, though much of the population still believes that Britain is a free nation.

Ergo, the actual legitimacy of both the EU and the current UK Government are in fact suspect, since both no longer appear to recognize the sovreignty of the People, in the case of the EU, and of the Crown and People, in the case of our own government. And that, I submit, implies that we live under an illegitimate regime. Certainly the reckless disregard for the rule of law and centuries of tradition have rapidly eroded the credibility of the current UK Government.

The only remaining question, really, is what will the sovereign People do, if anything, to recover their ancient liberties?

Posted by: Eric Jacobson | Dec 11, 2006 9:23:39 AM

Anybody up for a "Fuck 'em - Buy Boland" campaign?

Posted by: Thon Brocket | Dec 11, 2006 11:44:45 AM

It's too late for a buy Boland campaign. And I fear that it is too late for this country too. We are all guilty of watching our sovereignty being destroyed bit by bit and really shouldn't be surprised or outraged by this. We have condoned it by our own complacency.
However, If anyone can see a way to organising a massive campaign of civil diobedience to force our withdrawal from the EU, I will be at the barricades, suitably armed.

Posted by: Bretters | Dec 14, 2006 3:12:08 PM

As a Canadian it still amazes me that the once proud country of Churchill signed up for that load of bollocks known as the EU. There are still proud Britains in the tradition of Churchill, but as for the country as a whole...it's gone. You should get out while you can. Can UKIP make an issue out of this? Oh one wishes the Conservatives would. Anyone?

Posted by: matt | Dec 14, 2006 7:21:22 PM