Greece sues Denmark over fake “Feta” cheese production

Feta Cheese

Way back in December, we had reported that the European Commission had decided to refer Denmark to the EU court for allowing local companies to produce Feta cheese, thus going against EU laws on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
Now, Greece has authorized the EU to begin legal procedures against Denmark over its alleged appropriation of Feta cheese, the Greek Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday.
“The Agriculture Minister has (approved) the activation of European Commission legal action against Denmark for violating protected designation of origin (regulations),” the Ministry said in a statement.
Feta is an “emblematic” Greek product, the ministry added, stating that Denmark had “refused to cooperate” with EU regulations. It has also allowed Danish producers to manufacture “imitation feta” and to export “imitation EU cheeses” to non-EU countries, Athens said.
Feta cheese is among a number of region-specific foods and beverages which European countries are fighting to maintain their appellation of origin.
In 2005, the European Court of Justice struck down an appeal from Germany and Denmark —also backed by France and Britain— over the right of their producers to keep using the name of Feta for their white, brine-soaked cheeses.
Greece is also in the midst of a legal battle with the US over the latter’s efforts to lift all Feta cheese protections in Singapore, thus allowing American companies to export white cheese branded as “Feta” to the Asian country. It is worth noting that the US Dairy Council Export directly challenges the protection regime enjoyed by the Greek product in Singapore, within the framework of the bilateral trade agreement signed between the Asian country and the EU last September.