Baylen Linnekin on the FDA's Cheese Crackdown

You dine at the pleasure of the FDA. Enjoy it while it lasts.


Mig Groningen / Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, a nationwide firestorm erupted over an FDA decision to ban the use of wooden planks to age cheese. Cheesemakers, farmers, chefs, commentators, and consumers were furious. The decision to ban the centuries–old practice, first reported by the Cheese Underground blog, seemed to come out of the blue.

But then the agency reversed course, and the new rule vanished as quickly as it had appeared. The FDA issued an update that began with the sentence, "Recently, you may have heard some concerns…"

Unfortunately, the FDA still wants to ban the use of wooden crates in cheesemaking, argues Baylen Linnekin. The FDA is a powerful and power–mad agency that regulates 80 percent of the food supply (and growing). The food and beverages you eat and drink today are only legal because the agency hasn't yet figured out a way to ban them.