The European Union (EU) has reportedly introduced new rules that would halve the percentage of added water allowed in bacon products labeled as such. According to media sources, current laws set the added water limit for bacon at 10 percent, but the updated measure would require bacon containing more than 5 percent added water to be renamed “bacon with added water.” If adopted by the European Council this fall, the regulations would apparently take effect in 2015.

The plan has since drawn feedback from both bacon retailers and aficionados, as well as government agencies like the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which said that the stricter requirements would “make it clearer to shoppers exactly what they are buying.” The British Retailers Consortium (BRC), however, was less sanguine, telling reporters that reducing the added water content would make bacon “less moist, less succulent and less tender when it was cooked.” As one BRC spokesperson explained, “We are concerned the nature of the product could change significantly and that any change could be confusing for consumers who perhaps wouldn’t understand that they were buying the same product that now just had an ‘added water’ label.” See The and The Telegraph, July 25, 2011; Yorkshire Post, July 26, 2011; The Guardian’s Word of Mouth Blog, July 27, 2011.