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Bakers fear EU could label salty German bread unhealthy

DDP/The Local · 23 Mar 2010, 11:04

Published: 23 Mar 2010 11:04 GMT+01:00

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Peter Becker, the president of the German Baking Association, said the European Commission was endangering the good reputation of German bread by considering labelling only loaves with a salt content of 1.3 percent and below as “healthy.”

Becker said most types of German bread had salt levels of 1.8 to 2.2 percent.

“I find it discriminatory when our healthy bread can no longer be considered healthy,” said Becker. “It’s absolutely perverse.”

Becker said he feared the EU could eventually decide to ban German bread completely, but a spokesman for the European Commission tried to defuse the worries of the country’s bakers.

Carsten Lietz told the daily Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday that officials in Brussels planned to target industrially produced foodstuffs rather than traditional items such as baked goods.

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“The baker on the corner will still be able to promote his bread as being healthy,” Lietz said.

Despite the supposed threat from Brussels, Becker said German bread lovers could look forward to another year of stable prices. Germany’s 15,000 bakeries employing some 290,000 people accounted for a turnover of €12.9 billion in 2009.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:10 March 23, 2010 by erdinger
saltz smaltz, give me my "BUTTER BROT"
15:31 March 23, 2010 by Clapoti
1.5 g of salt is the daily recommended intake for an adult, with a salt level of 2% eating 100g of German bread gives you already 2.0g of salt for your day... you eat other stuff with salt during the day that's for sure... consuming more than 2.3g per day increases your risk of health problems... so well if you eat German bread everyday your diet is then not very healthy concerning sodium.

They should stop putting their head in the sand and assume that even if every German say their bread is healthy maybe it's not really true.
23:24 March 23, 2010 by wxman
Too much sodium chloride in one's diet is not good, everyone would agree. It can lead to high blood pressure, among other things. On the other hand, it's nobody's damn business what we choose to eat.
09:06 March 24, 2010 by moistvelvet
"it's nobody's damn business what we choose to eat."

But if we do not know what is in what we eat how can we make an informed choice. Although I don't agree with such bread being banned I do think that the EU has a duty to make sure the consumer is aware which food is healthy and which is not. Companies make profit on selling goods on the back of it being labelled "healthy", if German bread with high salt levels is named as unhealthy then so much the better, the choice is ours.
10:10 March 24, 2010 by berlinski
What's the problem here? If there is too much salt in the bread to be healthy, then we should be informed. Simple. I can guarantee if it was the other way around and imported food from another EC member state had too much salt, the Germans would want it labeled unhealthy for sure.
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