Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Express lies about milk jugs

The Express had two eye-catching 'political correctness gone mad' stories on its front page today:

Anton covered the taxi driver one (as reported by the Mail) yesterday.

So let's look at what the 'Euro meddlers' are up to now.

As it turns out, err, nothing.

Here's what the Express originally ran:

Yet clicking that link reveals the article has been removed. Why? Because the EU didn't 'spout off' about, or 'call to ban', anything, and there were no rulings by 'Euro meddlers'.

As the re-written article makes clear, it's solely about a team of researchers from the University of Valencia who:

found that up to a third of milk and dairy products served up in bars, restaurants and cafes breached EU health regulations and was not fit for human consumption.

Is that it? Well, the researchers did say milk jugs increased the risk of contamination but that's about it.

Indeed, the EU in the UK blogged about the story, saying there was 'absolutely no basis' for it, adding:

The Commission fully supports the advice of the UK’s Food Standards Agency: milk jugs that are clean and stored appropriately before and after filling are totally in line with EU legislation.

So the actual story is: one-third of the milk served in Spanish restaurants exceeds contamination limits, say academic researchers.

The 'World's Greatest Newspaper' turns that into: EU wants to ban the British milk jug.

It's another clear example of what Editor Peter Hill called the 'vastly improved...standards of writing' at the Express.


  1. Neat debunking, great stuff.

  2. Thanks for drawing attention to this. We contacted the Express yesterday and got them to take the story down, which they did. But they "deleted" our letter asking for a correction in the print version and printed a letter on today's letters page fulminating against the meddlesome bureaucrats, a letter based on a story they knew they had misreported...

  3. Odd isn't it that in thd rewritten article the comments section has been made unavailable

  4. I cannot say I'm surprised by this - the Express is one of the most, if not the most, anti-EU right-wing papers on the UK newstands.

    Good to see though they have been exposed for incorrectly transforming stories to reflect badly on the EU...

  5. I think it is very understandable that a newspaper now largely funded by pornography should get very excited about a ban on jugs.

  6. The depressing thing is that if they ever print a retraction (unlikely) it will go unnoticed, and half wits across the land will spout this shit on a regular basis. The damage is relatively small, but since there's a constant avalanche of this kind of thing, the cumalative effect is worrying.

  7. Kristopher is right. Dedicated followers of tabloid trash NEVER notice the retraction/correct/final outcome of a story, if it differs from their original viewpoint.
    Years ago there was a story of some children who ran home from the park saying a 'scary black man with mad staring eyes' molested them. Some days later the truth came out - that the children made it up to excuse the fact that they were late home and would get into trouble. But that bit of news update was missed by my colleague who asked me 'did they catch that b***k b*****d that interfered with them kids?' Well, no because he never existed in the first place. And if she'd never asked me she would've gone to her grave believing that there was some mad black paedophile hanging out in the local park...


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