Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Japan and South Korea ban mozzarella di bufala

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have suspended imports of buffalo mozzarella from the Campania area (of which Naples is the capital) due to the presence of traces of dioxin in the milk which goes to make the famous and delicious cheese. The Italian farmers' association, Coldiretti, has minimized the problem, estimating that it affects only a tiny percentage of the production.

But as I reported in January, the environmental, social, and regulatory problems of the region are so great that the adulteration issue is likely to be very, very serious and pervasive. And it involves the entire food chain, and thus other products from the area.

UPDATE, 3/28- Japan has unblocked buffalo mozzarella from the area, but France has now banned the product.

UPDATE to the Update, 3/28 (it rhymes)- and now France has lifted its ban. Hmmm? A reminder: most fresh mozzarella, from Italy or elsewhere, is not made from buffalo milk.

UPDATE to the Update to the Update, 3/29- China and Singapore have gotten into the act. Some have waxed ironic about China banning anything on the basis of safety.