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Chewing gum is food but magic mushrooms aren't Mar 8, 2005 reuters.co.uk
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - What is food? Chewing gum and mineral water qualify, EU experts say -- but not hallucinogenic mushrooms, live animals or an apple growing on a tree.
Animal feed also fails the European Union's "edibility" test as does any tasty plant ripening in the ground before it has been harvested.
Cosmetics and psychotropic substances are also out, it says.
The EU takes more than 70 words to say what it understands by food in comments sent to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint body of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation, that sets food standards.
Chewing gum is one of the more bizarre products mentioned.
"(It) should be considered as food even if only a part ... is actually ingested by the consumer," the text reads. However, the EU recognises that in some cases, the characteristics of a given chewing gum impose that it be regulated as medicine."
With members from more than 160 countries, Codex sets non-binding recommendations that are often used in international trade disputes, including World Trade Organisation negotiations.
This is the EU's second attempt this month to try to work out food definitions.
A week ago, the EU's executive invited European consumers to write in their thousands to an Internet site to say what they thought the flavour, colour and tenderness of veal should be.
Kinda like the history of the whole world...wasting your time trying to "define" and "categorize" things, and fucking up along the way.
Damn you Linnaeus! damn you!
-------------------- Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.