As the go-to symbol of the European Union's excessive bureaucracy, the ban on bendy bananas story has to rank as one of the greatest urban myths of all time. The EU never actually banned bananas of any shape or hue. Not technically, at least. But it has taken a pretty unhealthy interest in the shape of fruit and veg. Take the cucumber. It must have a curvature of no more than 10mm per 10cm of length, in order to be classed as a Class 1 cucumber. And who wants to sell Class 2 cucumbers? Not the supermarkets, that's for sure. Asda got into trouble for classifying its delicious organic cucumbers as Class 1 when - horror of horrors - they exceeded the angle of the dangle. It was let off because the EU law hadn't been ratified at the time, but if it did the same today, it would be bang to rights. And the growers wouldn't fancy growing Class 2 cucumbers much either, and therefore chuck away huge quantities of overbendy cucumbers and other abnormally shaped fruit and veg. How stupid is that? Two years ago, Waitrose came up with its excellent Cooks Range, so as to offer cheaper fruit and veg, avoid this criminal waste, and discourage the shocking obsession with appearance and shape. Now, as we report (see page 4), the EU has seen sense. It wants to do away with some of its petty rules and let nature - and the market - run its course, drawing up a working document to repeal the marketing standards for 26 fruit and veg, including cucumbers along with the 10 best-selling EU-grown fruit (though bananas are not included). Yet a number of member states are resisting. And you have to ask why? Consumers and bureaucrats alike are far too picky about size and shape. It's time people paid more attention to quality and taste.