Washington, DC— Today Rep. Ron Kind introduced the bipartisan Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions (CURD) Act, which would create a formal definition of “natural cheese” to ensure consumers are fully informed when purchasing cheese.

“Folks here in Wisconsin are proud of the high quality, international award-winning, delicious cheese made in the state,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Ensuring Wisconsin cheese can continue to be labeled as “natural cheese” will give customers the information they need to continue buying the quality Wisconsin cheese their families have used for generations.”

“We are thankful to Congressman Kind and Senator Johnson for introducing the CURD Act. This legislation makes it clear that cheesemakers in Wisconsin and around the country can continue to use the term “Natural Cheese” on their product labels,” said John Umhoefer, Executive Director of Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. “Cheesemakers have been using this term for decades to differentiate “Natural Cheese” from “Pasteurized Process Cheese” in the grocery store. This legislation preserves our industry’s ability to use this term to describe cheese made naturally with fresh milk and dairy ingredients.”

The term “natural cheese” is historically used to identify cheeses made directly from milk and distinguish those products from process cheeses. It describes cheese that is made from milk to which salt, enzymes, and flavorings can be added. It is the result of the fermentation of milk by adding starter culture. Some examples of natural cheeses are:

  • Cheddar cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Havarti cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Gruyere cheese
  • String Cheese
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