War on Cheese: Obama’s FDA Announces Plan to Destroy Cheese Small Businesses

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


president-obama-made-cheese

Cheese is fattening. It contributes to obesity and has a high carbon footprint. We should thank Obama for destroying the artisan cheese trade in America.

That was a good thing he did. A very good thing.

Government likes being the big cheese. If the Food and Drug Administration has its way, there will be a lot less competition for the title.

The future of many cheese operations in Wisconsin and elsewhere and the unique tastes of popular cheeses like aged cheddar and Parmesan are hanging in the balance after a recent decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that alters how cheeses are aged, industry experts say.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an executive decree banning the centuries old practice of aging cheese on wooden boards.

Consumers who eat any kind of aged cheese should prepare for a potentially catastrophic disruption in the market for artisan, non-processed cheese.

Corporate cheese makers like Leprino and Kraft will be able to weather this regulatory storm — they don’t make cheese, they manufacture cheese, and as such they do not follow the centuries old artisan techniques.  But for small businesses and artisan cheese makers, wood boards are in fact essential to the making of cheese.

Monica Metz, branch chief of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Dairy and Egg Branch, once employed by corporate cheesemaker Leprino, nixed wooden-shelf cheese ripening.

Corporate cheese manufacturers operate under different rules from small-batch, artisinal craftsmen.

Take it from the perspective of Chris Roelli, a Wisconsin cheesemaker cited by McNeal: “The very pillar that we built our niche business on is the ability to age our cheese on wood planks, an art that has been practiced in Europe for thousands of years.”

To make matters worse, the FDA is acting without legal authority.

Obama doesn’t believe in legal authority. He believes in his authority.

In an email to industry professionals, Rob Ralyea, Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Food Science and the Pilot Plant Manager at Cornell University in New York, says: “According to the FDA this is merely proper enforcement of the policy that was already in place. While the FDA has had jurisdiction in all food plants, it deferred cheese inspections almost exclusively to the states. This has all obviously changed under FSMA.”

Ah, FSMA. For those of you not in the know, the Food Safety Modernization Act is the most sweeping reform of American food safety laws in generations. It was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011.

While most cheesemakers have, perhaps, begrudgingly accepted most of what has been coming down the FSMA pike, including the requirement of HACCP plans and increased federal regulations and inspections, no one expected this giant regulation behemoth to virtually put a stop to innovation in the American artisanal cheese movement.

This is part of the FDA’s ongoing War on Cheese.

The Food and Drug Administration has long had an adversarial relationship with traditional cheesemakers. First, it cracked down on raw milk cheese aged less than 60 days, even though such cheeses—like Brie de Meaux and Reblochon—have been safely devoured in Europe for centuries. Then it restricted imports of Mimolette, a hard orange French cheese, because of its high concentration of microscopic bugs called cheese mites—never mind that cheese mites are what give Mimolette its characteristic flavor and texture.

Instead of restricting the import of European cheese, maybe we can restrict the import of European bureaucracy instead.

  • spin43

    Obama said “my government.” He is a dictator with no opposition and a dumbed down populace with more coming across the border.

  • PeoplesRepublicOfMd

    Why doesn’t the House freeze the FDA’s appropriations or whatever the term is which means they get no further monies to carry on with these hateful rules against small cheese makers? Anyone, ANYONE, who continues to believe Obama gives a rat’s a^^ about the jobs, the economy and the middle class is either on the Fed payroll, welfare, or comes from a family which carries a congenital gene for being st#pid.

    • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

      The problem is that Republican “leaders” like John Boehner and Eric Cantor have castrated the entire Party – they’re so afraid of a government “shutdown” that they refuse to make any demands of the Democrats.

      • The March Hare

        Well, at least Cantor’s gone since he lost his primary yesterday. Now we need to get rid of Boehner.

        • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

          One down, a whole bunch to go – but Cantor’s loss really made my evening.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Because then the media will cry that the GOP is killing kids

  • Flowerknife_us

    Cheeze Wizz Mr. President, only good old American processed White Cheese from now on? Yea!- real diversity at last.

  • truepeers

    Cheese is not fattening because it’s got fat. A diet high in addictive, sugar rushing, carbs, is fattening.

    So American puritanism and corporate welfarism trumps progressive wannabe Euroweenierie? Interesting.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Europe does protect its agricultural industries, especially France

  • SunnyJS

    Everything Obama supports costs each of us choices, and choice means freedom; while he and his minions claim their love for diversity and stamp out anyone or thing that differs. The Orwellian double speak/act marches forward.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Maybe it’s the usual left wing ideological Stalinism. But maybe it’s the money. Follow the money. Who paid to write this law.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      usually it’s both, an alliance between big business and the left

    • Anamah

      One does not impeach the other…
      This plague is an obtuse Maoist/Stalin assault, AND is paid by big, BIG! money world wide.
      We are witnessing both at the same time.

      • MarilynA

        Maybe the object is to send our cheese businesses overseas where they use wood in their processing and we will never know about it because our nosy inspectors don’t have authority to inspect outside the US. Look at how many industries have relocated outside the US because of the environmental restrictions imposed by the US EPA. Our environmental protection laws and regs have not reduced pollution because other countries do not require industry to obey them. the only thing these laws have accomplished is to move American jobs to other countries.

        • The March Hare

          But they will ban Imports based on how they are made.

  • De Doc

    Artisan cheese is now on the run! Thank the gods that Obama Inc. is protecting us from this horrendous practice.

  • Libslayer

    Killing America, one business after another.
    Progressives call this progress.

  • starrrgirl

    what else would you expect from a bunch of rats?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      perfect

      • http://batman-news.com Richard Trank

        Yes they love their cheese.
        In my neck-of-the-woods Liberals LOVE Artisan Cheese. Its cis-Cheese that they hate. The more well-off they they are the more they like it.That artisan cheese. The stinkier the better. Oh, I don’t expect to get a whiff of backlash anytime soon.

        I heard on NPR yesterday a discussion concerning the school lunch programs here. The program is failing- defaulting to thrice weekly pizza, taco, mac-n-cheese (made with cis-Cheese no doubt) dosing, i.e. the kids are throwing away all the mandated unsalted organic spinach sand thrown at them. “Susie? Susie? Susie #cis-Cheese?, yer not eating your spinach sand!”

  • Bellerophons_Revenge

    Kraft and Tillamook have to be protected from pint size specialty cheeses. How else can the 1% make enough money for Obama to tax for his welfare programs? How else can Obama produce enough poor people to justify his welfare programs?

    Hurt the poor to help the rich get richer then tax the rich to buy the votes of the newly poor! What could be simpler?

  • wileyvet

    So little cheese is being assaulted by The D!ck Cheese.

  • Anamah

    Hard lesson for stupid Americans, if they are able to learn.
    Do now low informed people better informed?
    Are have we there yet?

    Is not time to reject these American enemies?

  • kilfincelt

    Good grief! Will someone please get the Obama administration out of our lives!?!

  • truebearing

    This is Fascism at its most obvious. Obama’s Fascist regime is shaking down corrupt corporations for campaign money and in return, using the power of the government to drive competitors out of business.

    This BS about cheese being fattening is a pathetic excuse. If the Obama Whitehouse cared about the health of Americans, they wouldn’t be denying health care to vets or installing death panels in Obamacare. In fact, there wouldn’t be any Obamacare.

    We love our cheese in Wisconsin, and the cheesemakers here make some of the tastiest cheese in the world. This will cost the Commiecrats dearly in our elections.

    Processed cheese is the stuff that is unhealthy. The way it’s made, packaged, and preserved is all far less healthy than the cheese they plan to ban. I’d like to see their evidence of a great health drisis caused by cheese. Where is the research or the record of death by cheese?

    There is a cheesemaker near Monroe,WI, which is heavily populated by people of Swiss descent. We buy Colby and Pepperjack cheese they make which is unsurpassed. They are small but very good at what they do. It makes me sick to see these jackbooted thugs stomping small businesses like that into the ground just because some a-hole like George Soros owns a lot of stock in Kraft.

    • http://batman-news.com Richard Trank

      TB
      The threat of Raw Milk is from Brucellosis; though many of us would not mind a swollen Bruce, nor aged cheese on their wood, it is an un- pretty nasty disease.
      BTW I’d almost give anything to be sitting right now at cheese mecca* Baumgartner’s, Monroe WI right now….local limburger on dark rye…aged brick… a stein of local dark lager. I miss that 100 yo Moose head on the wall, the retired dairymen, still in their overalls playing pinochle in the back bar room. Ah!

      * In my mind “mecca” this-or-that works. Cheese especially works. The stinkier the better. I hope; perhaps likely not if you know me, the word-use sticks long after Mecca is gone.

      • http://batman-news.com Richard Trank

        In my neck-of-the-woods Liberals LOVE Artisan Cheese. Its cis-Cheese that they hate.The more well-off they they are the more they like it. That artisan cheese. The stinkier the better. I don’t expect to get a whiff of backlash anytime soon.
        OH yes: I heard on NPR yesterday a discussion concerning the school lunch programs here. The program is failing- defaulting to thrice weekly pizza, taco, mac-n-cheese (made with cis-Cheese no doubt) dosing, i.e. the kids are throwing away all the mandated unsalted organic spinach sand thrown at them. “Susie? Susie? Susie #cis-Cheese?, yer not eating your spinach sand!”

  • wally

    Wooden boards are white people’s tradition and therefore racialist to the core.
    Thank goodness for bathhouse adept magic mulatto Hussein and his nutrition expertess Moomoo for putting an end to these Jim Crow age practices.

  • dusel1

    I get constipated just looking at an image of Barry, but then I get diarrhea looking at a picture of his male spouse.

  • CowboyUp

    What other ‘sweeping reform’ slipped in under the radar from 2008-2010 to bludgeon the US economy, small businesses, and take away more consumer choices?

    Consolidating the large number of small businesses into a few large corporations also simplifies regulatory enforcement and corporate revenue collection for the government.

  • De Doc

    This just in – apparently the FDA backed down after a furor erupted over the proposed changes.

    So, like al Qaida, rumors on the death of board cured artisan cheese have been greatly exaggerated!

  • CaoMoo

    dictators have to start simplifying the food chain somewhere so we can all eat our bread and water.