Italy tells EU ‘no’ to lifting ban on powdered milk use
Government defends Italian cheeses
October 2, 2015 - 11:50
On the September 29 deadline imposed by the European Commission, Italy voted 'no' to the Commission's demands that the government lift the country's ban on the use of powdered, condensed and reconstituted milk in Italian cheese production. Dairy products made using milk powder are prohibited from entering the Italian market.
The ban, which aims to protect Italian food quality standards, was declared by the Commission as restrictive to the free movement of goods.
According to the Italian farmers' association Coldiretti, 'with one kilo of milk powder, which costs two euro on the international market, you can produce 10 litres of milk, 15 mozzarellas and 64 yoghurt pots, all with the same identical taste. We will lose the distinctiveness that can be produced only by using fresh milk. The go-ahead for powdered milk threatens to make 487 traditional cheeses disappear. This is a deception of consumers which threatens gastronomic heritage that has been protected for generations and will have effects at the economic, occupational and environmental level.'
Coldiretti has been a staunch defender of Made in Italy, gathering with many Maremma and Tuscan farmers in Rome's piazza Montecitorio on July 8, 2015, to protest the European Commission's demands to lift the ban in law 138 of 11 April 1974.
At the July protest, Andrea Renna, director of Coldiretti Grosseto stated, 'Overcoming this rule would result in the lowering of the quality, the standardization of taste.'
On September 15 during the Expo Milano 2015 World's Fair, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi symbolically 'adopted' several Italian cheeses to highlight the country's opposition to the EU's demands to lift the ban.
In addition to the 'no' vote, Italy has asked the European Commission to reevaluate the labelling of milk-derivate products in efforts to make information more transparent to the consumer.
President of Coldiretti Roberto Moncalvo welcomed the Italian government's decision, saying that it 'respects the pact symbollically signed by Renzi and in front of 30,000 Coldiretti farmers.'
Gabriella Ienzi visited Florence and Tuscany for the first time in September 2014, and fell instantly in love with the region. It didn't take long before she was on her way to "il bel Paese" for good, where she's now currently interning with The Florentine. Gabriella is happiest with a good book in one hand and an even better glass of wine in the other.