Brown, Portman Join Effort to Protect Dairy Farmers, Products

Ohio Ag Connection

U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are working together to protect dairy farmers and producers in Ohio and across the country from a European initiative that would change common names for cheeses frequently purchased by Americans.

In a bipartisan letter signed by more than 50 of their Senate colleagues, Brown and Portman urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to fight European Union (EU) efforts to prohibit American dairy producers from using dozens of common cheese names. The EU claims that dairy products baring names such as asiago, feta, parmesan, and muenster are "geographical indicators" and can only be appropriately displayed on products made in certain areas of Europe.

If the United States were to be subjected to a ban of these traditional brand names for various cheeses, consumers may be confused and American dairy farmers could suffer.

"Ohio dairy producers make some of the highest quality cheese in the world," Brown said. "Their product is as good as any from Europe and should be given equal opportunity to compete in the food market. The USDA and USTR should stand up for American producers by standing up to the European Union."

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