Who doc­tored my cheese?

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - CONTENTS - Ly­dia Mul­vany

When agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion paid a sur­prise visit to a Penn­syl­va­nia cheese fac­tory in Novem­ber 2012, they found ev­i­dence that Cas­tle Cheese was doc­tor­ing its so-called 100 per­cent Parme­san with cut-rate sub­sti­tutes and fillers such as wood pulp. That may sound like a plot from an episode of NYPD Bleu, but adul­ter­ated grated Parme­san and Ro­mano cheeses re­main a very real prob­lem.

20 % Of U.S.-pro­duced hard Ital­ian-style cheeses—worth $375 mil­lion in sales—mis­rep­re­sent in­gre­di­ents, says Neal Schu­man, CEO of Amer­ica's No.1 seller of such cheeses. 30 % The amount Bob Greco of Cheese Mer­chant of Amer­ica says ri­vals hawk­ing bas­tardized prod­ucts have un­der­bid him. "The bad guys win," he says, "and the rule fol­low­ers lose.

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