Vermont congressman questions FDA about cheese aging

A democratic congressman from Vermont is questioning the FDA about a clarification the agency made about using wood shelves to age cheese.

“Like you, I am hearing reports, based on an FDA ‘clarification’ issued yesterday, that the agency now believes wood shelves CAN be used to age cheese,” U.S. Rep. Peter Welch said in a statement. “In essence, the statement says the FDA never held the position that wood was impermissible.”

Welch said the clarification contradicts “a clear statement of FDA’s position” the agency provided to his office.

“It appears the FDA’s right hand doesn’t know what its left hand is doing. Which FDA should cheese makers listen to?” Welch asked.

“Bottom line? We are moving forward with our amendment to prohibit the FDA from banning this centuries-old practice,” Welch added. “Artisan cheese makers cannot afford to live with this threat to their livelihoods caused by regulatory ambiguity at the FDA.”

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