Another “Fact” Shattered

2 March 2013

Everyone in the UK will remember the stories about “straight cucumbers”.  Apparently the EU had decreed that cucumber farmers had to grow their produce to a certain specification to ensure that they’re straight.  The Press (particularly the Daily Mail) was up in arms that our lives were being over-regulated by over-paid bureaucrats in Brussels.  However, it just wasn’t true but that fact got little press coverage.

Two or three years ago, the UK knitting community was bemoaning the fact that charity shops in the UK could no longer sell knitting needles, apparently for “Health and Safety” reasons.  I remember my mother telling me about it and then I read it often on the internet.  A lot of shops would keep some “under the counter” and would sell them if you asked, but wouldn’t put them on display because they’d been told they were dangerous. 

This from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive’s website:

 Case 86 – Charity shop has said that they cannot sell knitting needles for health and safety reasons


A charity shop has said that they cannot sell knitting needles for health and safety reasons.

Panel decision

There are no health and safety regulations which apply to sale/re-sale of knitting needles and the panel can see no legitimate health and safety reason which could justify this decision. We urge the charity to reconsider its decision and at least come clean on the real reason for its decision.

So it would appear to be as ridiculous a story as the straight cucumbers. 



  1. I buy quite a lot of knitting needles from charity shops here in the UK, obviously only the ones with a cavalier attitude to health and safety! 🙂

  2. Have you ever seen the wonderful ‘Dinner Ladies’? “It was in the Daily Mail” is something of a family saying now, whenever someone comes out with a load of old scaremongering codswallop.

  3. Having just spent some time reading through the 2013 myth-busting cases, I particularly liked the one about shredded paper. The daffodils one was pretty good, too.

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