Renate Sommer and Peter Liese, MEPs, has just introduced new regulation (see here for a summary in swedish), which strangely passed, where food package markings in joule will be removed, the only marking left will be the kcal (a completely arbitrary unit).
The definition of calories also varies between:
- Kilogram calorie, also written Calorie or Cal (with a capital C). The energy needed to warm up one kg of water by one degree C.
- Gram calorie, cal with small c. The energy needed to warm up one gram of water by one degree C. One thousand of these are written as kcal.
- Pound calorie, which is the energy to warm up one pound of water by one degree C.
So, by forcing away the joule, they are adding confusion to the food labelling (which calorie are they referring to?) and they are assuming that the Unions citizens are stupid and do not understand what a joule is.
Further, why is it difficult to know that a man needs 10 MJ of energy and a woman 8 MJ (as compared to 2500/2000 kcal (or should we say Cal to add to the confusion?))?
What is next? Will Renate Sommer want to dismantle the metre and revert to national foot and inches?
It would be better if they just decided to ban the use of kcal, Cal and cal on the packaging completely. People are not stupid and will adapt, especially if you consider that most people managed to switch to the Euro without to many problems.
Peter Liese also writes [en] that the regulation will not patronise the citizens, but that is exactly what they do when they remove the branding in joules. I and the rest of the citizens are apparently to stupid to understand what a joule is according to Peter. Thank you for not patronising us!