Get Ready for a Cheese War

Updated at: 03/14/2014 6:44 AM
By: Networx

Photo: Jules Morgan/FlickrTell your Austin electrician to stock up her kitchen now: a brewing cheese war between the US and the EU could change the handling and labeling of dairy products in the US forever.

At issue is the labeling of cheeses produced in the US using methods similar, but not identical, to those in the European Union. Some classic examples are Parmesan, feta, Asiago, and Gorgonzola -- all of which have a long-established European tradition, and some of which are actually native to specific regions of Europe. The EU wants to ban the US from using such labels on its cheeses, arguing that they dilute the value of traditional European cheeses, confuse consumers, and cut into the European cheese market.

Members of the US Senate and other organizations are opposed to adjusting trade agreements with Europe to incorporate these changes, setting the stage for what could become a protracted battle. It turns out that cheese really can cause an international foreign relations crisis.

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