Saturday, March 19, 2005

Annals of protecting competitors, not competition: Margarine cannot be yellow says Supreme Court of Canada - Canada Press: "Quebecers will continue to eat white margarine, at least for now, after the Supreme Court rejected arguments from manufacturer Unilever which opposed provincial restrictions against the sale of yellow margarine. The justices made their decision immediately after hearing from company lawyer Gerald Tremblay for an hour and while refusing to listen to arguments from lawyers for the Quebec government and Quebec Dairy Producers. During a brief oral decision, Justice Louis LeBel rejected all aspects of Unilever's argument. They therefore confirmed the rulings of the Quebec Superior Court in 1999 and the Quebec Court of Appeal in 2003 that validated the Quebec regulation which prevents the sale of margarine in the same colour as butter. Former Liberal premier Robert Bourassa passed the rule in 1987, which at that time mirrored a measure in Ontario. Quebec said it was designed to ensure consumers weren't confused about the products, but ultimately protected the dairy industry. According to dairy producers, 600 farms and 3,000 jobs would be threatened if margarine took butter's yellow glow."


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