At a meeting this month in Geneva the UN-backed CAC adopted the recommendations from the Codex Committee on Milk & Milk Products to scrap existing processed cheese standards and work on the creation of a new one.
Allen Sayler, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, said the US-based trade body welcomed the decision to scrap the existing standards, claiming that they were outdated and failed to reflect the processed cheese that is now being traded internationally.
But the IDFA opposed the move to start work on the creation of a new standard. Sayler said: “The decision to continue efforts to revise the processed cheese standard is disheartening because, after 12 years of work, there have been no positive outcomes.
IDFA believes Codex resources would be better targeted in other areas."
The IDFA said it is opposed to accepting poorly written updates that might compromise the US processed cheese domestic market. In particular, the lobby group said it was afraid that a new Codex processed cheese standard would result in lower-quality imitation cheese being covered by the same international standard as high-quality American processed cheese.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Dairy UK, which represents dairy processors in the UK, said in February that it recognised a need to update the standard on processed cheese and said that it would have to develop its own code of practice in the absence of an agreement at Codex level.
Giving an update on this today, Dairy UK technical director Ed Komorowski said: “Dairy UK will be working with manufacturers, Lacors, and other organisations to develop a suitable standard for processed cheese. We would expect to complete this work within 12 months. The aim is to protect UK consumers by ensuring they get the high quality product they are expecting when they buy or eat processed cheese.”