Banning Fancy French Cheese

Banning Fancy French Cheese

July 01, 2013
Originally published in Cato Institute

I’m no cheese connoisseur. . .But I understand that some people have more refined tastes, and they feel very strongly about the issue. And they get very upset when their favorite cheese is taken away. The Washington Post reports on a recent instance of this:

For centuries, microscopic mites have been part of the process for making Mimolette, a mild-tasting cheese shaped like a cannonball and electric orange in color. For decades, the cheese has been imported from France and distributed to shops and grocery stores across the United States. That is, until this spring, when the Food and Drug Administration began blocking shipments of the Gouda-like product at U.S. ports, leaving thousands of pounds of it stranded in warehouses from New Jersey to California.

The FDA says inspectors found too many cheese mites per square inch crawling on the cantaloupe-like rinds of Mimolette, raising health concerns. But it hasn’t explained exactly why it began holding up the cheese shipments after decades of relatively few problems. “The only thing we can do is cite our regulations, which show very clearly that our job is to protect the food supply,” FDA spokeswoman Patricia El-Hinnawy said. . . .

Hans Bader of CEI has also reported on this.