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Long & Kind introduce bill to protect quality of cheese by clarifying "natural cheese" label

This week Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the Codifying Useful Regulatory Definitions Act (CURD Act), which clarifies what products qualify for the “natural cheese” label.  While the “natural cheese” label is commonly used on food packaging, it currently has no definition.

“The dairy industry is vital to Missouri’s economy and its success,” said Rep. Long. “Missouri's dairy companies contribute billions of dollars to the state's economy. That’s why this bill is so important. Currently, there is no standard definition of what natural cheese is, but with the help of my colleague, Rep. Ron Kind, we have introduced a bill that will define natural cheese as cheese made from milk. Providing this definition will help better inform consumers and allow the dairy industry to operate without confusion.”

“Wisconsin cheese is some of the highest quality and most delicious cheese in the world. By ensuring our cheese can continue to be labeled as “natural cheese” we give customers the information they need to differentiate between quality Wisconsin cheese and lower quality products,” said Rep. Kind.

There is a need to define the term “natural cheese” to maintain transparency and consistency for consumers so that they may differentiate “natural cheese” from “process cheese” in the grocery store. Under the CURD Act, “natural cheese” would be defined as cheese that is produced from animal milk or other dairy ingredients and is produced by established cheese-making practices.