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Dairy Facts 2016

Cheesed Off: Video offers Insight to Fight over GIs

Jul 22, 2015

In a new edition of Dairy Foods magazine’s “All Things Dairy,” Beth Hughes, IDFA director of International Affairs, talks with Editor-in-Chief Jim Carper about the European Union’s push for geographical indications (GIs) and what it can mean for common cheese names such as parmesan.

“Parmiggiano Reggiano is a great example of a legitimate GI. This type of cheese can only be produced in the Parma and Reggio regions of Italy. A group of Italian producers registered this GI through the European Commission and hold the exclusive right to use the name and market their product as such,” Hughes said.  “But the term 'parmesan' is generic and therefore should not be protected and use of that term should not be restricted.”

In her recent Rules and Regs column, Hughes explains how geographical indications can “shred, slice and block U.S. cheese” exports.

Watch the full video: Cheesed off. The fight over geographical indications.

For more information, contact Hughes at

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