Cheese Battle & EPA Misleading Farmers

Cheese Battle & EPA Misleading Farmers

Cheese Battle & EPA Misleading Farmers plus Wildfires Escalating Costs. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

The FDA seems to be waging a war against artisanal cheese or so it seems. Artisanal cheese makers use wooden boards to age cheese but the FDA says that is an unsanitary practice. This fight goes back a couple of years when an FDA inspection of a small cheesemaker in upstate New York found the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially harmful bacterium, on a board used to age cheese. Cheesemakers both in the U.S. and abroad have been using wooden boards for hundreds of years. Late Wednesday, the FDA released another update, reassuring cheesemakers that the agency has little interest in cracking down on the age-old use of wooden boards and calling reports to the contrary inaccurate.

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman charges the EPA is misleading farmers that it's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule won't affect them. Top EPA and Army Corps officials told a Congressional panel their controversial proposed rule would exempt normal agricultural practices. Stallman argued.

STALLMAN: The proposed rule would categorically regulate as navigable waters countless ephemeral drains and ditches and other features across the countryside. Features that are wet only when it rains and features that may be miles from the nearest truly navigable water.

Now the escalating costs of fighting wildfires are forcing Federal agencies to rob the budgets of other important functions to pay those costs. Gary Crawford has more.

(USDA Report)

Thanks Gary. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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