I recently posted that new EU regulations would require restaurants to use factory packaged and sealed bottles of olive oil. This would put small artisanal producers out of business, and reduce consumer choice. Fortunately, the UK Telegraph is reporting that the EU is dropping the olive oil rules due to a public outcry (hat tip Walter Olson):
In a humiliating U-turn, Dacian Ciolos, the European commissioner for agriculture, admitted that the proposed ban on traditional olive oil jugs, had provoked popular loathing, or “misunderstanding”, from the people that he said wanted to protect for their own good.
This is why regulatory transparency is so important. The more people learn about regulation, the less they tend to like it. And when a whopper such as this one comes down the pike, it won’t get repealed unless people find out about it. Mr. Ciolos appears not to have learned his lesson, but results are what matter. He lost. More importantly, consumers and small olive oil producers won.