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Supreme Court of Canada upholds Government position on cheese standards

The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the federal compositional standards for cheese after they were challenged by two cheese manufacturers earlier this year.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the authority of the federal government to set compositional standards," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Canadian consumers will continue to have access to world-class cheese products made from ingredients of the highest quality."

Compositional standards for food products, such as cheese, describe basic requirements so that these food products have a uniform composition and meet consumers' expectations.

The regulations set a minimum level of milk to be used to produce various cheeses, but also allow for other milk products, such as skim milk powder, whey and milk protein concentrates. They also maintain a licensing system for cheese importers as a way to facilitate the enforcement of the regulations in a consistent and equitable fashion.

The ruling also underscores the Government of Canada's continued support for the supply management system.

"Canadians are well served by our supply management system, and today's decision ensures that consumers will continue to enjoy products that meet their high food standards," concluded Minister Ritz.

The revised compositional standards for cheese came into effect on December 14, 2008. These standards apply to cheese marketed in import, export or interprovincial trade.

by S. C.
28 november 2011, World News > America