Ohio Fights To Keep Using Common Cheese Names

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Ohio cheese producers are pushing back against an EU proposal to limit the use of European names such as Parmesan, feta and Gorgonzola on American-made cheeses.

The Ohio Dairy Producers Association, which represents Ohio's $1 billion dairy industry, says the inability of companies in the state to use dozens of common cheese names could have a significant impact on sales and trade.

The EU's argument is that American-made cheeses pale compared to the originals and cut into sales and identity of authentic European varieties.

Ohio's U.S. senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, have joined a letter asking U.S. trade negotiators to fight the naming restrictions. Portman says 11 Ohio cheese-makers would be affected by the change.

Ohio is the nation's 10th largest cheese producer.