UE, green light also in Italy to cheeses and dairy products made with powder milk. Dop, Igp e Stg products left out
Since few days we can read news about a letter of formal notice sent by the European Commission to our country, in which it is contained the prohibition to use powder milk, condensed milk and re-energised milk to produce dairy products. This prohibition refers to a law approved in 1974 that – from the EU point of view – is againt the freedom of wares circulation within the European Union, and so it needs to be changed.
This letter was followed by several controversies among experts, journalists and politicians, included the Minister of Agricultural, Policies, Food and Forests, mister Maurizio Martina. He firstly tweetted a comment in which he talked about a diktat: “About cheese and powder milk, no to Eu diktat“. Then he explained better his opinion in a press release dated 28 june: “We will defende the quality of our italian dairy system and the transparency of information for our customers. We will, then, explain once again to the European Commission the necessity of a more significant action concerning the label for milk, so that we can better understand the needs of our producers and, above all, that can put an end to the quota system. We are not willing to step backward on these principles. It is important to reaffirm that this situation doesn’t concern our big Dop cheeses, for which won’t be possible to use other first material than those mentioned in the guidelines“.
Besides the Minister, also Mauro Pili, a sardinian deputy from the party Popolo delle Libertà, presented a point of order to the Minister asking him to reject the european letter of formal notice and to garantee sardinian products. He also promoted a petition on change.org to stop any attempt to modify the guidelines concerning the defense of dairy sardinian products.
The situation is still quite confused, and even the press keeps proposing statements pro and against the letter from the European Commission. This last answered officially to a claim dated may 2015 it received from a section of the italian dairy industry (not better explaination were given by the Commission last 29 june) that considers it self penalized by the mentioned law 1974. In its answer, the Commission explains that its members asked italian autorities some clarifications and they started a investigation, without having received any feedback and making clear that the investigation is not linked to the quality of products, but to the regolamentation of the European Single Market. Moreover, it affirms that “all italian products protected by the european quality schemes (IGP, DOP, STG), for example the mozzarella DOP, are not concerned by the investigation, since the european politics on products’ quality gives specific guidelines for their production”.
While the investigation continues, the Commission waits for an answer from italian authorities to the letter sent in may.