March 14 - The E.U. wants American cheesemakers to stop using European names to market their products. Gavino Garay reports.
What might seem like a cheesy story for some, has created quite the stink. The EU wants American cheesemakers to stop using European names to market their cheeses. Names like parmesan, gruyere and feta... Secretary of the British Cheese Board, Nigel White. (SOUNDBITE) SECRETARY OF THE BRITISH CHEESE BOARD, NIGEL WHITE SAYING: "I think the Europeans, some Europeans would regard cheeses that use that name, protected name in America, as inferior in terms of taste to that which is a traditional product and is protected in this country..." Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is outraged. (SOUNDBITE) REPUBLICAN SENATOR PAT TOOMEY OF PENNSYLVANIA SAYING: "It's just an outrageous effort to protect European cheese makers and prevent American cheese makers from being able to make and sell cheeses that we have all been consuming for many, many decades." But the quality of the cheese is debatable. Wisconsin's Santori Aged Parmasean recently placed ahead of one of Italy's most coveted cheeses. (SOUNDBITE) CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER SARTORI CHEESE COMPANY CHAD VINCENT SAYING: "We're making some of the best cheese in the world and when we go on these world wide competitions head to head with them, we're beating them now. They don't like it." Industry experts in the U.S. say a mandated name-change would devastate the American cheese industry.