The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has reportedly affirmed a ruling that Spanish citrus growers must label their fruits when they have used chemicals or preservatives in post-harvest processing. Spain challenged the European Commission’s (EC’s) power to enact the rule, arguing the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe had set voluntary standards only. The lower court noted that even though the EC must consider U.N. standards, it is not required to adopt those guidelines, reasoning that the ECJ reportedly echoed in its ruling.
Spain also argued that the rule created an unconstitutional distinction between citrus growers and growers of other fruit, but the lower court found that citrus fruit is often subjected to higher levels of chemical processing and that citrus peels are used differently than the peels of other fruits and vegetables because they are often added to food for additional flavor. See Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2016.