In 2007, the Canadian government announced new regulatory changes with respect to cheese sold in Canada that may affect the quality, content and perhaps the price of cheese in your supermarket.
The changes are fairly minor but the updated law will require imposes compositional standards for cheeses. In other words there will now be minimum percentages of milk and cream required to make and sell cheese under certain labels such as cheddar in Canada. This is in contrast to today where cheese manufacturers have no limits on the percentages of other milk ingredients (modified milk ingredients) which can be used to manufacture cheese.
The entire list of regulations concerning not only cheese but other dairy products can be found at: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-0.4/SOR-79-840.
While the dairy industry and smaller cheese producers support the amendments, the industry’s biggest cheese processors such as Kraft Canada and Saputo are fighting the labelling changes as they claim that the reduction of modified milk ingredients (mostly imported) from their cheese making process in favour of raw milk (local I might add), will raise prices and in the end hurt cheese consumption.
As previously stated on the CBC’s Marketplace, there is more to the story however. Modified milk ingredients can be imported into Canada tariff free unlike milk and cream which are typically used to make cheese and ice cream. These low cost milk ingredients are then used to make lower quality products.
Hopefully the legal challenges will be quickly struck down and Canadian can finally be assured that what they are buying in their stores really is the cheese that they expect.