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Europe wants its Parmesan back, seeks name change

Associated Press

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WASHINGTON: Would Parmesan by any other name be as tasty atop your pasta? A ripening trade battle might put that to the test.

As part of trade talks, the European Union wants to ban the use of European names like Parmesan, feta and Gorgonzola on cheese made in the United States.

The argument is that the American-made cheeses are shadows of the original European varieties and cut into sales and identity of the European cheeses. The Europeans say Parmesan should only come from Parma, Italy. Feta should only be from Greece, even though feta isn’t a place.

U.S. dairy producers, cheese makers and food companies are all fighting the idea, which they say would hurt the $4 billion domestic cheese industry and endlessly confuse consumers.

Trevor Kincaid, a spokesman for the U.S. trade representative, said conversations on the issue are in the early stages but that the U.S. and EU have “different points of view” on the topic.


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