Federal Government Forbids Aging Cheese on Wooden Boards

Tyranny has existed throughout human history, but modern liberalism is unique in that its proponents grind under their heels even the most innocuous and irrelevant aspects of society. For example, the federal government has now forbidden aging cheese on wooden boards:

A sense of disbelief and distress is quickly rippling through the U.S. artisan cheese community, as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced it will not permit American cheesemakers to age cheese on wooden boards.

FDA petty tyrants issued a statement consisting mainly of bureaucratic gobbledygook declaring the time-honored practice of aging cheese on wooden boards to be unsanitary and therefore a federal crime.

The most interesting part of the FDA’s statement it that it does not consider this to be a new policy, but rather an enforcement of an existing policy. And worse yet, FDA has reiterated that it does not intend to change this policy.

Not only do they not need laws anymore, they don’t even need to issue new regulations. Say bureaucrats decide to forbid any food that is the color orange. Some faceless drone in an obscure office building in Washington shoots off a memo declaring that the color orange is already forbidden according to the repressive Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that Obama signed in 2011 and voilà – it’s done.

Cheesemakers aren’t liking it:

Many of the most awarded and well-respected American artisan cheeses are currently aged on wooden boards. American Cheese Society triple Best in Show winner Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese in Wisconsin is cured on wooden boards. Likewise for award-winners Cabot Clothbound in Vermont, current U.S. Champion cheese Marieke Feonegreek, and 2013 Best in Show Runner-Up Bleu Mont Bandaged Cheddar.

Wisconsin cheesemaker Chris Roelli says the FDA’s “clarified” stance on using wooden boards is a “potentially devastating development” for American cheesemakers. He and his family have spent the past eight years re-building Roelli Cheese into a next-generation American artisanal cheese factory. Just last year, he built what most would consider to be a state-of-the-art aging facility into the hillside behind his cheese plant. And Roelli, like hundreds of American artisanal cheesemakers, has developed his cheese recipes specifically to be aged on wooden boards.

“The very pillar that we built our niche business on is the ability to age our cheese on wood planks, an art that has been practiced in Europe for thousands of years,” Roelli says.

What Roelli doesn’t get is that for thousands of years Western Civilization had it all wrong. Now we’ve got Obama, so everything is different.

At least we can still import tasty cheese from free countries. Or maybe not:

As if this weren’t all bad enough, the FDA has also “clarified” – I’m really beginning to dislike that word – that in accordance with FSMA, a cheesemaker importing cheese to the United States is subject to the same rules and inspection procedures as American cheesemakers.

Therefore, Cornell University’s [Rob] Ralyea says, “It stands to reason that if an importer is using wood boards, the FDA would keep these cheeses from reaching our borders until the cheese maker is in compliance. The European Union authorizes and allows the use of wood boards. Further, the great majority of cheeses imported to this country are in fact aged on wooden boards and some are required to be aged on wood by their standard of identity (Comte, Beaufort and Reblochon, to name a few). Therefore, it will be interesting to see how these specific cheeses will be dealt with when it comes to importation into the United States.”

I’m guessing selective enforcement will come into play, as when Gibson Guitars was terrorized by armed goons and shaken down for $350,000 for allegedly importing forbidden wood, whereas competitor C.F. Martin – which donated to Democrats rather than Republicans – remained unmolested.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments were intended to protect us from this sort of lunacy. But they have not been in force since at least the FDR Administration. Liberals effectively repealed them by ignoring them.

A federal crime scene.

On tips from R F and Stormfax. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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