EU corn flake standards

EU corn flake standards - Uncommon Market Corn Flakes Clash...

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Uncommon Market Corn Flakes Clash Shows the Glitches In European Union Nations Retain Separate Rules That Business Leaders Say Hobble Economic Growth How Much to Fortify a Cereal By G. THOMAS SIMS Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL November 1, 2005; Page A1 BRUSSELS -- For the past eight years, nutritionist Marta Baffigo has had a simple request for Europe: Let Kellogg Co. put the same vitamins in all its European corn flakes. European countries have been trying to build a unified market for close to 50 years. In theory, they completed that task in 1993. But Ms. Baffigo, Kellogg's regulatory and public-affairs manager for Europe, has hit obstacle after obstacle in her effort to persuade regulators to allow the American cereal maker to sell the same vitamin-fortified cereals throughout Europe. Denmark doesn't want vitamins added, fearing that cereal eaters who already take multivitamins might exceed recommended daily doses, which some experts say can damage internal organs. Netherlands officials don't believe either Vitamin D or folic acid is beneficial, so it doesn't want them added. Finland likes more Vitamin D than other countries to help Finns make up for sun deprivation. And the list goes on. So Kellogg, of Battle Creek, Mich., has to manufacture four different varieties of corn flakes and other cereals at its plants in Manchester, England, and Bremen, Germany, and Ms. Baffigo continues to lobby. "We are waiting for Europe," she says. A single pan-European market was meant to throw open doors for trade, investment and growth across the continent. Instead, Europe's huge economy -- now roughly the size of the U.S.'s -- has stagnated. Europe's central bankers cite the failure to unify its market as a primary reason. Economists and business leaders say persistent national differences saddle companies with extra costs and hinder entrepreneurs and expansion. The national disparities make it more difficult to create jobs and boost European consumer spending, they say. ( See related article 1 .) The muddled landscape extends well beyond the world of breakfast cereals. Caterpillar Inc. sells tractors throughout Europe. But in Germany, it must install a louder backup horn and locate lights in different places. The yield signs and license-plate holders on the backs of vehicles must be different, sometimes by just centimeters, from country to country. RESHAPING EUROPE
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2 • See more coverage 3 on EU topics including union expansion, constitution developments and budget debates. Thinking Global: Old Europe, Bold Europe 4 On the Record: 5 Officials at Caterpillar and other companies, and even some regulators, contend there is no good reason for the regulatory differences. "Some of it is goofy," complains John Disharoon, head of regulatory affairs for Caterpillar in Brussels. The differences increase costs for "us, the dealer and the customer. It makes it difficult to mass produce in an
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EU corn flake standards - Uncommon Market Corn Flakes Clash...

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