EU: MEPs propose compromise in vodka row
A compromise deal has been reached in the European Parliament on the definition of vodka.
MEPs in the Parliament's environment, health and food safety committee were voting on a proposal to limit the name "vodka" to spirits made from either potatoes or grain - a move that had angered producers in the UK or France, where molasses is often the main ingredient.
However, the proposal's sponsor, German MEP Horst Schnellhardt, said MEPs had wanted to make the definition as broad as possible to support producers across the EU and to avoid problems at the World Trade Organisation.
"The compromise reached states that the basic ingredient must be mentioned clearly on the label, regardless of whether it is grain, potatoes or molasses," he said.
The European Commission had proposed several categories for vodka, based on ingredients and flavour, but Schnellhardt's report proposed a far simpler solution.
Several EU member states had complained that several categories of vodka would be confusing and discriminatory.
The full European Parliament will vote on the report in March.
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