More than 170 House members have written a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urging the administration to defend common food names as part of the negotiations with the European Union on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The members say the EU’s demands to adopt geographical indicators for certain dairy products are a barrier of trade and commerce that defy the fundamental goals of a trade agreement. These lawmakers urge U.S. negotiators to work aggressively against the EU’s efforts to preserve domestic and export opportunities for these products. National Milk Producers Federation spokesperson Jaime Castaneda says Europe needs to be reminded it doesn’t own parmesan and feta. Castaneda says many nations outside the EU have made award-winning cheeses for decades – noting some U.S. cheeses have beat out Europe’s in international cheese competitions. He says sometimes it is because of the dedication and marketing of food producers outside the EU that these products have become popular around the world.
Source: NAFB News Service