The Lord Justice Hath Ruled: Pringles Are Potato Chips

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Britain’s Supreme Court of Judicature has answered a question that has long puzzled late-night dorm-room snackers: What, exactly, is a Pringle? With citations ranging from Baroness Hale of Richmond to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Lord Justice Robin Jacob concluded that, legally, it is a potato chip.

    The decision is bad news for Procter & Gamble U.K., which now owes $160 million in taxes. It is good news for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs — and for fans of no-nonsense legal opinions. It is also a reminder, as conservatives begin attacking Judge Sonia Sotomayor for not being a “strict constructionist,” of the pointlessness of labels like that.

    In Britain, most foods are exempt from the value-added tax, but potato chips — known as crisps — and “similar products made from the potato, or from potato flour,” are taxable. Procter & Gamble, in what could be considered a plea for strict construction, argued that Pringles — which are about 40 percent potato flour, but also contain corn, rice and wheat — should not be considered potato chips or “similar products.” Rather, they are “savory snacks.”

    The VAT and Duties Tribunal disagreed, ruling that Pringles — which have been marketed in the United States as “potato chips” — are taxable. “There are other ingredients,” the tribunal said, but a Pringle is “made from potato flour in the sense that one cannot say that it is not made from potato flour, and the proportion of potato flour is significant being over 40 percent.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/opinion/01mon4.html?ref=opinion
     
  2. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #2
    Now I can sleep at night! ;)

    Really I guess the issue was over uncollected and future taxes on Pringles; $160 Million sounds like a lot, but I bet it's nothing considering the future tax revenues to be collected.

    I wonder how long it took for the arguments to be heard and ruled on in this case. Imagine the lawyers arguing the merits of 'potato chip' vs. 'savory snack' definition... :D
     
  3. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #3
    Well I feel better now knowing there are other countries with dumb legal issues.

    Thank you!!:)
     
  4. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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  5. thecritix macrumors 6502

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    #5
    there are no real winners here, except:

    [​IMG]

    Bastard.
     
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #6

    Which is to stock up before VAT goes on them. Sticking mostly to the plain ones and the paprika ones when I see them, am I alone in being able to polish off an entire tube of them in one sitting? :eek:

    Despite this ruling, I still don't see them as a crisp though. More in the realm of Hula Hoops and the like, I guess.
     
  7. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    I am jealous, we don't have the Paprika ones in the US (not that I have found anyway) and they are one of my favorite flavors. :(
     
  8. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #8
    Can't you just sprinkle some paprika in the tin and give it a shake?
     
  9. drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #9
    I think they are officially labeled "Potato Crisps" in the US rather than "chips." Frito-lay filed a lawsuit back in the 60s or 70s to make that distinction after they were initially called "Potato chips" on the packaging.
    Silly and trivial, as are most corporate cases.
     
  10. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #10
    I haven't had a pringle in 2 or 3 years.

    And you're not alone BV. I could polish off a tub of the stuff while watching a movie.
     
  11. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #11
    So they're potato chips just like
    [​IMG]

    Or what? I'm all confused. They're not crisps now?
     
  12. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #12
    Obviously His Lordship hadn't bothered to actually eat one. One taste of those nasty little processed wafers would have told him they are most definitely not potato chips (or crisps).
     
  13. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #13
    is it just me, or is that mr. bean with a gray wig?
     
  14. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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    #14
    It was an article from an American newspaper, and American chips = British crisps.
     
  15. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

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    #15
    Since when did people think that Pringles weren't potato chips? I never knew there was a debate on this.
     
  16. Go Dog Go macrumors member

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    #16
    I think Pringles' initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But Pringles was a laid-back company. They said "F**k it. Cut 'em up."
     
  17. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #17
    Ah, but if Pringles were just thinly cut up potatoes they would be classified as Potato Chips… and not (as has been established) Potato Crisps

    ;)
     
  18. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    He was amazing.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. kdum8 macrumors 6502a

    kdum8

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    #19
    What are you talking about? Hating Alistar Darling is one thing, but the winner is the tax payer which is you and me.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    I never knew that there was a debate over the definition of whether or not Pringles (yum) were potato chips and it is certainly finessing to dispute this. Anyway, as other posters have pointed out, whatever they are, they are most certainly rather addictive; I have been known to empty whole tubes in one sitting (washed down with suitable alcoholic accompanyments) ....

    Sounds to me a bit like the fountain pen company (Cross) which argued that what they produced were not pens, but, wait for it, were "writing instruments" instead.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  21. NinjaHERO macrumors 6502a

    NinjaHERO

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    #21
    There was definitely a huge legal battle on Pringles being called chips in the US. I can't for the life of me find a link on it. But I think one of the other posters already pointed out, it was Frito-Lay that sued. I remember seeing it on How It's Made Snack Food or something....gotta love discovery channel.
     
  22. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #22
    Umm...considering that their own commercials referred to them as Pringle's New-Fangled Potato Chips, it'd be sort of ridiculous to deny what they are.
     
  23. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #23
    No no, those are fries.
     
  24. ziggyonice macrumors 68020

    ziggyonice

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    #24
    Mmm... I'm suddenly in the mood for a salty, savory snack. :)
     
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    He was great on Black Adder.....or whatever he was on.
     

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