EU: Prunes Aren't a Laxative Politician: Prove It

Good thing Europe has nothing better to worry about right now!

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 14, 2011 9:57 AM CST

(Newser) – Conventional wisdom dictates that when you're having trouble, um, going, drink a big glass of prune juice. But that advice apparently no longer applies in the EU, and one member of the European parliament isn't very happy about it. The European Food Safety Authority's ruling that there is "insufficient" evidence that the dried fruit is tied to improved bowel function has raised the ire of Sir Graham Watson, reports the Telegraph, who has challenged an EU commissioner to a prune-eating contest.

The panel reviewed three prune-based studies before coming to its conclusion, and the ruling means that purveyors of dried plums can't make the health claim. Sounding like quite the scientist, Watson said, "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." Then, the challenge: "I have also invited the Commissioner responsible for health and consumer policy, John Dalli, to a prune-eating contest to see for himself." (The brouhaha comes on the heels of another odd ruling involving ... water. Click to read.)

Prunes: laxative, or not?
Prunes: laxative, or not?   (©Son of Groucho)
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