WASHINGTON - According to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a new FDA mandate would change artisanal cheese production methods.
The FDA issued a mandate that would prevent cheese-makers from using wooden boards to age their cheese.
" The artisanal cheese industry is a small but rapidly growing part of the dairy sector in New York State, with more than 125 cheesemakers creating world class dairy products," New York Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said. "These businesses create many jobs and provide diversity to the food choices of all New Yorkers."
The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets says in 2010, the FDA began inspecting cheesemaking facilities in New York looking for pathogens.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has also written to the FDA about the mandate.
“Our small businesses and artisan cheese makers in New York and around our nation rely on the centuries-old process of making cheese and worry that they may still be targeted,” said Sen. Gillibrand. “The FDA must immediately clarify their rules to assure our producers that they would be able to continue to use wood to age their cheese, which is an integral part of their process.”
Sen. Schumer says cheese-makers will be forced to use new material for cheese-aging which will be costly and could alter the taste of cheese.
Sen. Schumer is calling the FDA to reverse its opinion.