Is there anything the government doesn’t ruin?

I had the pleasure of living in France for some time. While there, I gained an appreciation for their amazing array of cheeses. So vast is their cheese spread that Charles de Gaulle is famously quoted as saying, “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?” (“How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”). But I digress.

According to The Week, the FDA is out to regulate away our freedom to partake in French cheese:

New FDA restrictions on the levels of harmless bacteria found in imported cheese have effectively banned a number of artisan French cheeses, including Roquefort, Morbier, and Tomme de Savoie. The restricted bacteria already exist in the human stomach, and the banned cheeses have not changed their recipes for years.

While the restriction is already affecting imports, domestic cheese producers are under the FDA gun, too. Raw milk cheesemakers may be put out of business over a change they say is capricious at best. “There was no health risk in all the years we operated” under the old regulations, says David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery in Oregon, “We look at this as an arbitrary change.”

Still not concerned? What if I told you they were coming after your Parmigiano Reggiano? According to Overlawyered

The new rules have resulted in holds even on super-safe Parmigiano Reggiano, and the risk of losing a costly shipment of a perishable commodity is likely to be enough to drive many European producers out of the market for export to America entirely. Highly praised artisanal cheese makers in the United States are facing shutdown as well.

They told us this administration was going to be run by wine and cheese faculty liberals. Now where are they when they could actually do us some good?

Zing! But this particular FDA overreach is not just a freedom of gruyere issue, it may have reaching health implications as well. Cary Bryant, microbiologist and cheesemaker, told The Week that the new restrictions could be detrimental to public health:

“People need some microbial diversity in their life. This is going to create people with immune systems that can never handle anything.” In addition to no microbial diversity, if the FDA persists in this measure, we may simply have no cheese: Even aged parmesan — which is about as safe as cheese can be — has come under scrutiny thanks to the ban.”

It’s a sad state of affairs when we’re deprived of our right to cheese. Excuse me while I go toss this chunk of Roquefort into the Gulf in protest.

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Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia Public Domain