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Italy bullish in buffalo cheese row

mozzarella.jpgBoth South Korea and Japan have impounded suspect shipments of Italian mozzarella after finding high levels of dioxins in the tasty dairy product.

But Italy has hit back, with agriculture minister Paolo De Castro declaring, "It would be an error to infer anything from this and create a dangerous panic. That would turn this story into a negative campaign that unfairly compromises the image of an excellent product and which risks becoming heavily penalised in Italy and abroad.”

He even went as far as to say the cheese found in Korea wasn’t Italian but “fake” mozzarella, presumeably from an international network of cheese fraudsters. We blame the danes…

However Italy has since shut down cheese production at a number of farms after finding higher than allowed levels of dioxin. The EU is also mulling a ban on mozzarella amid concerns the problem could be linked to piles of uncollected rubbish resulting from a strike in Naples or even illegal dumping of toxic waste by the Mafia.

So the last thing Italian cheese makers need is this to be given a catch name and become another massive food safety scare. Too late! Canada’s Globe and Mail has declarded it “Mad Buffalo cheese disease”, and noted “Not only is mozzarella a dietary staple, it is a symbol of Italy’s glorious food culture. Shame on mozzarella translates into shame on Italy.”

Italian coverage

Image: Photo courtesy


  1. Report this comment

    OSM said:

    Personally, the mozarella here in italy is so good, i dont care what’s in it.. On the other hand, shame on Italy for having eastern asian countries bring this to light. Where’s the quality control here?

  2. Report this comment

    AR said:

    The problem of Italian mozzarella goes back several years. I come from the area where it is produced and I recall that once in a while local newspapers reported that the mozzarella was tainted but after a couple of days the news just disappeared from the news. Now the news exploded just because several Asian countries did some test on it. I think that Italian government should really improve the quality of life of people living in that area and not to blame on other its own mistakes.

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