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Bill Defining “Natural Cheese” Introduced in the House

Sep 26, 2019

The term “natural cheese”’ has been used by the U.S. cheese industry for decades, and one of IDFA’s top priorities is for Congress to include a definition of this term in federal statute to protect against consumer confusion. IDFA came closer to reaching this goal this week when Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Billy Long (R-MO) reintroduced the Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions (CURD) Act in the House. Identical legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The CURD Act would help consumers to distinguish “natural cheese” from “process cheese.” The Senate passed the CURD Act late last year by voice vote, but the House failed to pass it before the 115th Congress adjourned. 

“The term ‘natural cheese’ has been used by the U.S. cheese industry for decades and is well established and understood by the American consumer,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “Defining the term is good for the consumer and good for the industry. It maintains transparency and consistency for shoppers so that they will know what they are buying in the grocery store.”

IDFA’s legislative team is working with many cheese manufacturers to explain the importance of the CURD Act to members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which have jurisdiction over the legislation. 

For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy.

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