Say (Illicit) Cheese!

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
June 16th, 2003 • 4:48 pm

Wow. I had no idea all French raw-milk cheese was banned in the US:

Hey, Wanna Score Some Cheese?” by Katy McLaughlin, The Wall Street Journal

(Raw-milk cheese from other countries is banned if it’s aged for less than 60 days, which eliminates most raw-milk soft cheese.)

Such cheese was stamped with a big red warning label here in Canada for a while, but that didn’t last. I remember that this move was due to a single case of someone who believed that they had become chronically sick because of some French cheese they had eaten. A single case (and debatable at that) in a nation of 35 million!

In any case, it doesn’t sound like the US ban is very effective. But some people are apparently pressing for more stringent rules.

Typically, the Wall Street Journal writer doesn’t really deal with the issue, which is whether such a ban should even exist in the first place. After all, the health risks of, say, tobacco and alcohol, are much clearer. I guess it all depends on how quickly it makes you die (and not how likely it is to kill you).

Do I look forward to seeing “thermalized” cheese on store shelves soon? About as much as I enjoy the very thought of the existence of Kraft Dinner — let alone the thought of trying to eat it. Now, there is a food item whose legality sounds (tastes?) highly dubious to me.

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