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Parliamentary questions
7 March 2013
E-002674-13
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Mario Borghezio (EFD)

 Subject:  EU action to safeguard Marseille soap
 Answer(s) 

Out of all Marseille soap, 90% comes to France, and Provence in particular, from China, Turkey, Malaysia, and, for that matter, Italy: it contains animal fat and various scents and therefore does not conform to the regulations on Marseille soap-making, which stipulate that traditional Marseille soap should contain 72% vegetable oils and no animal fat, scent, or colouring whatsoever and hence that it should be biodegradable and hypoallergenic.

The traditional soap, moreover, is made in five stages over 10 days, whereas the concocted variety has the merit of costing much less.

In Marseille, there are only two companies still producing the true soap, and one of them is on the verge of bankruptcy.

1. Has the Commission received any request from France to establish a PGI (protected geographical indication) for Marseille soap in order to protect it from unfair competition from the above countries and safeguard the last two French companies (and consequently their workers) still using the traditional production process? 2. If the Commission has already received a PGI request, how does it propose to deal with it? 3. Does the Commission think that the ingredients used in the fake soap could damage consumers’ health and the environment?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 6 E, 10/01/2014
Last updated: 27 March 2013Legal notice