SIRC – Media Watch 30-04-99
British independent cheese makers this week are lodging complaints against proposed new regulations that will radically affect their ability to produce economically viable, quality cheeses. At present their production is governed by the Food Safety Act 1990, but the recent cases of E-coli have fuelled a government drive toward what the industry believes is a total eradication of unpasteurised milk from all dairy foods. Leon Downey, whose cheesery is responsible for the 'Llangloffan' brand, expresses his distaste for the "hygiene police": " there are no problems with the use of unpasteurised milk in hard cheese. It is a self cleansing method of cheese making. Bureaucrats know nothing about cheese making, its principles or methods". Fears of increasingly stringent and costly testing procedures have led a number of the 120 British small cheese producers to suggest that their businesses may well benefit from a relocation to France where regulations are less oppressive.