Lib Dem MEP Sir Graham Watson Challenges EU Commissioner To A Prune-Eating Contest
Do you think that prunes have a laxative effect? Think again - because the European Food Safety Authority begs to differ.
Back in February, the ESPA released a paper that included a statement on just that - whether prunes aid normal bowel function.
"The Panel concludes that the evidence provided is insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of dried plums of 'prune' cultivars (Prunus domestica L.) and maintenance of normal bowel function."
So there you have it, from the European horse's mouth. Except Sir Graham Watson, Lib Dem MEP for South West England, won't stand for it, recently decrying the EU commission's decision.
"I have asked the Commission if it is satisfied with the criteria and the methodology used for testing such claims because I know that prunes contain two substances sorbitol and dihydrophenylisatin, which have laxative effects," said Sir Graham in Strasbourg. "But most of our constituents do not require a scientific test."
But the MEP wouldn't leave it there, no sir. He did the only sensible thing he could do - he challenged the man behind the paper to an eating contest.
"I have also invited the Commissioner responsible for health and consumer policy, John Dalli, to a prune eating contest to see for himself."
Eating contests are not traditionally a means of solving arguments in politics - though we'd like to see David Cameron and Nick Clegg give it a try - but in this case, it seems to make sense.
Incidentally, the European Food Safety Authority is the same branch of the EU that brought us the news that water didn't actually prevent dehydration - though if you read the fine print, they, bizarrely, correct on that one...