WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) today reintroduced the bipartisan CURD (Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions) Act to help better inform consumers’ cheese purchasing decisions. The CURD Act would codify a formal definition of “natural cheese,” a term commonly used on food packaging that currently has no official definition. Under the CURD Act, “natural cheese” would be defined as cheese that is produced from animal milk or other dairy ingredients and is produced in accordance with established cheese-making practices. Senator Johnson is joined in reintroducing the CURD Act by U.S Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Tammy Baldwin (R-Wis.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.).
“Wisconsin is known for its cheese, in all its forms and varieties,” Sen. Johnson said. “Codifying the definition of ‘natural cheese’ will allow consumers the necessary information to make informed decisions when purchasing and enjoying the great products of our state.”
“Dairy is Idaho’s top agriculture industry, and protecting the integrity of our farmers, producers and their products is a top priority,” said Sen Crapo. “The CURD Act insures customers receive accurately-labeled ‘natural cheese’, so they can make informed decisions at the grocery store.”
“Vermont farmers work hard to produce world-class cheeses – they deserve truthful labeling that reflects the hours they put in and the nutritional, economic, and cultural value of their product,” said Sen Welch. “I’m proud to support the CURD Act to ensure truth in labeling for Vermont’s delicious cheese products.”
“Wisconsin’s dairy farmers and cheesemakers work hard to produce high-quality cheese products that are known across the globe and move our Made in Wisconsin economy forward,” said Sen. Baldwin. “This legislation honors their celebrated products and makes sure consumers know what products on the shelf meet the definition of ‘natural cheese’ and what do not.”
“Hoosiers and Americans alike have a tremendous passion for all things cheese, so I find it important that consumers know exactly what they’re getting when they order a cheese product,” said Sen Braun. “The CURD Act will promote label transparency and help Americans make informed decisions around their consumption of cheese.”
“Oregonians are proud of our state’s world renown high-quality cheese,” said Sen. Wyden. “The CURD Act will ensure that cheese consumers nationwide understand how the cheese they’re buying at their local supermarket is produced—which will highlight Oregon’s delicious natural cheese products.”
“The dairy processing industry has used the term ‘natural cheese’ for decades to help differentiate cheese made with fresh milk and dairy ingredients from pasteurized processed cheese,” said John Umhoefer, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Executive Director. “We thank Senator Johnson for codifying the definition of this commonly-used term in the CURD Act, and demonstrating his support of the dairy industry and transparency in the marketplace.”