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Fight Over Greek Feta Blocks US-EU Trade Talks

Tyler Durden's picture





 

When one imagines the world's two largest bureaucracies - the European Union and the US - trying to coordinate what may be the world's most sophisticated free-trade agreement, one would expect things like genetically modified crops, chlorine-washed chicken, and beef quotas to be key sticking points. One would not expect Greek Feta cheese to be among the main hurdles. Which is precisely what it is, because as Kathimerini reports "a fight over who can call Greek-style cheese “feta” is blocking the way toward the world’s largest free-trade deal. Of course, in a world in which something as "consequential" as who gets to call Feta by its name will require days if not weeks of negotiations, one wonders why bother with trade when central planners can just print commerce and wealth all day long anyway.

From the Greek media outlet:

US and European Union negotiators will determine a list of sticking points this week in Washington during their third round of talks, and food issues are expected to be chief among them.

 

At a time of low economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic, EU-US free-trade negotiations seek to integrate two markets representing almost half the world’s economy in a sophisticated agreement going far beyond lowering tariffs.

 

But food is different and the old issues that have bedeviled many trade talks around the world are likely to complicate the ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Brussels and Washington.

 

The EU is determined to write into any deal its system of geographical indications, which protects countries’ or regions’ exclusive right to product names, such as France’s champagne, Greek feta cheese or Italian Parma ham.

 

US groups say this demand “defies credibility” because in the cause of free trade, US producers would, for example, no longer be able to market cheeses as “feta.”

Sadly, every day we are witness to far more insane things in this centrally-planned world. As for the "Free-trade agreement" between the US and Europe, we can't wait for the two biggest economies to pass it only to find out what's in it.

 


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Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:47 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

What about Feta that is produced by ex-pat Greeks in Idaho who use dairy from cows that came from Greek stock but consume American hay?

 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:53 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

I prefer homemade mozzarella from our family milk cow with some tomatoes and pesto from our garden...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:55 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Whatever delays or stops those damn talks is good for me. Well done, feta

looks delicious

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:24 | Link to Comment Arius
Arius's picture

"Looks" - the key word in the sentence. 

It doesn't look to me though, i might humbly add ... but I am ALL for the patriotic "down with the french fries" kind of talk ...

 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:08 | Link to Comment Doña K
Doña K's picture

The French have a lock on the Champane name, the Italians call it Asti and the Americans call it Wild Turkey. (Indicative of American "savoir douche")

BTW: You can not call it Mozzarella, if you made it at home!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:12 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

Thanks...

Wild Turkey, I knew there was something I forgot on the list. (for the Bailey's)

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:32 | Link to Comment Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

I'm willing to call Cheez Wiz feta cheese if it'll stop the TPP.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:58 | Link to Comment Larry Dallas
Larry Dallas's picture

Show me the "mut coming out your ass or you didnt make it...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:10 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

I don't know exactly what that means, however, this is queso blanco Mrs. Horseman had hanging in the laundry room.

Here is her Derby...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:10 | Link to Comment Doña K
Doña K's picture

More like queso fresco. No?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:23 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Maybe.  My Spanish is no bueno, but the cheese is mucho bueno.

Here is another hard cheese in the press.

I don't understand why people pay to ship cheeses around the globe.  Buy local.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:28 | Link to Comment Arius
Arius's picture

marketing and stupidity are the main reasons ...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:52 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Queso fresco ==> fresh cheese

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:55 | Link to Comment the0ther
the0ther's picture

Probably because will come thru your front door eventually. But if you're selling I'm buying!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:10 | Link to Comment johnconnor
johnconnor's picture

you are officially my hero

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:13 | Link to Comment l8apex
l8apex's picture

HH - that's a whole truckload of awesome.  I really enjoy your pics of the home grown/made/cultivated foodstuff...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:52 | Link to Comment the0ther
the0ther's picture

Jesus h Christ

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:34 | Link to Comment Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

......Almighty!!!!!! You lucky S.O.G

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:41 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

That cheese looks a lot better than the Kraft Pastuerized Process Cheese Food Solids I get out of the can.

 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:51 | Link to Comment Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

They can work out a licencing Agreement. (After an inspection of course via skype)

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:59 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

What about Feta that is produced by ex-pat Greeks in Idaho who use dairy
from cows that came from Greek stock but consume American hay?

Sounds great!  They may make you call it something other than Feta. 

How about Idaho white-brined curd cheese? 

Or may Freedom curd cheese?

In Boise, I would have guessed they make blue cheese?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:16 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

There goes another damn keyboard...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:17 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Here is Mrs. Horseman's blue cheese. 

Stupid globalists think we need to get food from the other side of the world.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:22 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

Unless it's been to a Bronco game, can we really call it blue?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:59 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Brainerd MN. gets the blue cheese.

http://www.brainerd.com/news/images/paul-bunyan-land/1.jpg

 

Woodchippers optional.

 

BTW: Excellent cheeses HH. Life must be good in the Horse house.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:02 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

Feta is not made from cow milk.

What you have there is a cheap knockoff looks like feta but doesn't taste like it. Which is exacrtly the problem. Call it something else.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:18 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

So..., their feta is beta?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:28 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

Well the Idaho stuff might be better, but the cow milk "fetalikes" I've tried are all pretty much tasteless rubber compared to real sheep cheese.

My favourite is Bulgarian sheep cheese - definitely beta than feta.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:41 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

My favorite goat cheeses were in France. 

That man, Bruno, has life figured out.  He grazes his goats on beautiful public lands and hosts equally beautiful young interns (unpaid) to do the milking and herding.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:56 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

There's a wee farm about 50km west of me, we drive past occasionally on the way to  a show and they have goat cheeses to die for, we buy up about half the stock when we pass. My favourite is lighjtly smoked, light and fresh cheese.

People today just don't know what good food is. They have been brought up on supermarket faire which has to be of a scale to sell to millions weekly. The result is it is all the same and tastes of nothing. Then these huge agribusinesses which sell to the supermarkets want to trade on the reputation of the small guys who do produce quality.

The feta thing came about because there was a Danish company bleeching cow milk based cheese and passing it off as feta. It in no way resembled real sheep cheese feta except that it was white and cubed.

Simply put, it's food fraud. No different than horse lasagne.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:00 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

My grandfather was a well known maker of goat cheese in southern Colorado. After getting off the boat, they were all sent to work in the mines that Rockefeller owned. The mines nearly killed him and he needed another way to raise the family. Being the best at what you do will work if you give it a chance.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:28 | Link to Comment Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

"What about Feta that is produced by ex-pat Greeks in Idaho who use dairy from cows that came from Greek stock but consume American hay?"

Nope. Sorry. See post below.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:12 | Link to Comment schadenfreude
schadenfreude's picture

Feta is made of milk from sheep and goats, not cows.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:49 | Link to Comment Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

The EU also has regulations about what size and shape a cucumber must have to be called a cucumber.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:55 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

yes, sure, but cocumber is a slang word for...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:54 | Link to Comment ChaosEquilibrium
ChaosEquilibrium's picture

FUCK FETA.....give me the GOVERNMENT CHEESE PRODUCT!!!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:53 | Link to Comment PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

Doesn't this speak volumes about what is supposed to be free trade - the fact that somebody is NOT free to call feta, feta ?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:58 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

no, it's about GMO food and poisoning a further continent for profit

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:56 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

I don't see the problem.

If you make crap fizzy wine and sell it as champage then it pretty much blows the credibiity of prducers in Champagne. It's a bog standard trademark problem.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 17:58 | Link to Comment rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 I doubt there is enough Feta

to choke off the pending takeover by global corporations.

Three “Secret” Concurrent “Free Trade” Deals:

Can the TPP, the TTIP and CETA be Stopped?
NAFTA on Steroids:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/nafta-on-steroids-can-the-tpp-and-the-ceta-...

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:01 | Link to Comment Catullus
Catullus's picture

I suppose I need an agreement to trade freely.

These free trade agreements have always been the exact opposite. They're defining what you're allowed to do. Everything else is off limits. Hardly free trade. But leftist morons who take two political science classes think that this is free trade because they call it that.

That TTIP is another globalization plot. Harmonization of policy is the internationalization of law making and eventually tax collecting.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:38 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

who plans a globalization "plot"? I find this view more than strange

it's still about GMO food and poisoning a further continent for profit

profit, remember? lobbyists don't "plot", they just trash down opposition to Robber Baron practices

not "plotting", just mindlessly making a further buck. and another one. Just MOAR, at any cost

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:52 | Link to Comment Four chan
Four chan's picture

MONSANTO

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:18 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Maybe America can get exclusive naming rights for hot dogs and apple pie.  And baseball is not baseball unless it is played in America.

Can you believe the number of menus that will have to changed in America if American feta cheese cannot be called feta?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:43 | Link to Comment Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

In that case you better start looking for a new name for Football ..

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:29 | Link to Comment Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Its all or nothing,see post below.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:47 | Link to Comment butchee
butchee's picture

I'l stick with Bulgarian sheeps milk feta, thank you.

 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:53 | Link to Comment Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

It doesn't matter what kind of Feta you like as long as you know where it has come from.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:37 | Link to Comment Irene
Irene's picture

Sorry, the name was changed to Bulgarian white cheese from sheep's milk for years now.  Seriously, the EU ruled that only white cheese from Greece could be called feta. 

In other important news, the Greeks continue to be total douchebags because despite owning the exclusive right to call their cheese feta, they ruined the product over 30 years ago.  Anybody producing "white cheese" from Bulgaria, France, Egypt, Israel, Denmark and others surpassed the Greeks in quality eons ago.  And the Greeks have been overpricing their food for export for so long it makes my head hurt.  This is one reason why I don't feel sorry for them.  They could have a thriving export agricultural market again if they would just improve the quality of their products to what their parents and grandparents used to produce. 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:20 | Link to Comment Escapedgoat
Escapedgoat's picture

Sorry Luv I Had to downvote you on the following points.

1st. You cannot call an entire nation "douchebags". You haven't met them all.

The Greek politicians ,who are resposible for all of this situation, may speak Greek but are not necessarily ...Greek (Simitis=Aaron Avouris, Venizelos =Tourkoglou, SomeAreAss, Evert, etc etc etc.) Who are the future convicts.

2nd. " Denmark and others surpassed the Greeks in quality eons ago" You should resist in expressing yourself in terms of eons as the Danes are about 1000 years old at best and Greeks exceed the millenium, by a few thousand years and therefore  are at it a lot longer (apart from the South Italians , that have a similar culture or same). Also the Danes  haven't got plenty of goats, which is the other important part of the FETA cheese, that also got a different mollecular structure and more healthy compared to cow's milk. Anyway the make their own wonderful different cheeses why nick somebody else's

3rd.  FOREIGN BOSSES (Look at the owners of the Bank of Greece) never asked the Greeks if they wanted that wreched EURO, which is the cause of OVERPRICING of their  Products.

4th. As for you  feeling sorry for the Greeks, I would like to see your attitude when the Greeks fly off the handle when it comes to violence and turn things upside down.

By the way the Greeks have not figured out quite yet, who is to blame. when they do home in on the enemy it will be  quite a spectacle.

Also on taste Bulgaria has a differnet weather and therefore differnt plants to that of Greece. The end product is not the same, even if it comes from the same animals let alone the same breed. Different seasons produce different cheese.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:52 | Link to Comment Irene
Irene's picture

Oh, please.  The Greeks voted in their politicians who lied their way into the Euro.  (Yes, beware Greeks and their GS bankers bearing gifts, etc.)

I've already been in Greece when people flew off the handle, blew up construction projects, etc.  What else is new?  I'm sorry for the Greeks, but it's always painful to watch a society vasilate between socialists/communists and right-wing military rulers.  Some peoples just have lousy political acumen and the Greeks don't seem to have found a happy middle. 

Now listen up, in the 1960s, Greek feta was still a fine product.  Shipped over in wooden barrels, lovely wheels of feta split into thirds were layered in a really deliciously brine which was so perfectly balanced you didn't ever have to rinse it off the cheese.    And then in the 1970s, things changed.  The cheese was often dried out, sour tasting and crumbly.  Greek immigrants would taste it and spit it out of their mouths like they spat kalamata olive pits out of their mouths.  And the Greeks began buying "Bulgaria" themselves.  This had nothing to do with Little Bo Peep and her long lost sheep, the flavor of micro-greens, the weather in the underbelly of Europe or any of that stuff.  This was bad production - something that a lot of people engaged in beginning the 1970s.

And they didn't care.  No amount of complaints or suggestions changed anything.  This happened long before the Euro had anything to do with their exports.  The Euro just exacerbated a really bad situation into something much worse.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:52 | Link to Comment Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

EscapedGoat seems to be very knowlegeable about sheep cheese!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:52 | Link to Comment Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

sheep fetish?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:49 | Link to Comment Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The solution might be to have in BIG lettering on the package GREEK FETA or AMERICAN FETA. In that way people know what style of cheese it is and where it came from.

People can then make up their own mind.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 18:57 | Link to Comment giggler321
giggler321's picture

Can call it Feta if they like but I'm buy Greek or other EU rather than Yankie plastic with same name - pretty much goes for all foods.  Down the world food isle in local store, all the American stuff puts me off, Smuckers fructose syrup sold as some kind of weird jam, Tinned corn dogs??  Reese's cereal, Durkee Marshmallow Fluff???

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:02 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

I got news for ya..., that crap sells all over the world.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 19:21 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

They can call it Fetish cheese.

Sorta like feta.

Tried to make pizza with Kraft bagged mozarrella because the wife said the store was out of the locally made good stuff. Never again.

What absolute shit. I should have just thrown styrofoam peanuts on it.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:15 | Link to Comment Reader1
Reader1's picture

Kinky!  I can't WAIT to buy FETISH CHEESE!  Is it still white and crumbly or will it be sleek and black and rubbery with kick, just a little pain to make it sweeter?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:31 | Link to Comment Evil Bugeyes
Evil Bugeyes's picture

Food fight!

Greeks should be prohibited from using English characters when spelling "Feta". Only English-speaking countries should be allowed to produce "Feta" cheese.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:34 | Link to Comment Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

It is easy to dismiss this as a joke, but think of this: Wouldn't you feel better knowing that when you bought Feta, you knew it had been produced in the correct and traditional way in Greece, rather than, let's say, in China? Well, if they don't get to protect their brands that's what might just happen. Besides it's not all that uncommon a prcatice, think Champagne, Gouda, or Parmeggiano.

 

You could also turn it around and think what would happen if other countries suddenly started making "Hollywood" movies, or held "Oscar" ceremonies. Imagine the uproar.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:08 | Link to Comment Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

We are not talking about Made in X, that's a separate issue.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:11 | Link to Comment Reader1
Reader1's picture

I dunno, considering the quality of "Hollywood" movies, some off-brand Hollywood might be a good thing.  Perhaps the knockoff Hollywood movies would have a discernable plot, character development, and acting as opposed to lots of explosions, loud noises, fast cars, guns, and sex scenes.  Porn movies tell better stories than Hollywood movies.  Coming This Spring to a Theater Near You: Fast and Furious 23: The Fastering!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 20:40 | Link to Comment Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

What we should be worried about regarding these trade deal talks is that in secret meetings, Big Business has convinced the negotiating parties that they should have first hand knowledge and a word to say in any regulation discussed betwen the parties of the trade pact, way before the people impacted by them - excuse me, the consumers - and their representatives are even made aware of discussions. It will be just like Wall Street now dictating financial regulation to lawmakers in the US.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for free trade, but not if it comes at a cost to consumer protection and transparency.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 21:24 | Link to Comment Its_the_economy...
Its_the_economy_stupid's picture

Get used to it. If whiskey isn't made in Bourbon County Kentucky, you can't call it Bourbon either. Quit bellyaching, or swallow the bitter pill.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:04 | Link to Comment Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

The whole thing is ridiculous.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:10 | Link to Comment rhs
rhs's picture

Two can and have played this game. In the US, Vietnamese (primarily) catfish may not be called catfish in the store. It is called basa or white roughy.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 22:31 | Link to Comment Canary Paint
Canary Paint's picture

It does not a statistical study make, but I have asked about 20 French people if they have heard there is negociations going on for a free trade agreement between the EU and the US. ALL said no. They are ranging from the ages of 20 to 55. They are all either middle class or students from middle class families. Two of them are international trade students.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:01 | Link to Comment Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

You did not make that feta!

> US groups say this demand “defies credibility” because in the cause of free trade, US producers would, for example, no longer be able to market cheeses as “feta.”

Does that mean that American companies won't be able to sell US made feta cheese in the US as well as in the EU? Crazy. Fuck the EU.
But hey overall this is a win win situation: PIIGS will prosper and so will famous American high quality financial services!

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:09 | Link to Comment Reader1
Reader1's picture

Just copyright the name, charge the Greeks with infringement, and sue, sue, sue.  Then, block all Greek COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT cheese from the US for all eternity.  It's what Budweiser did to Czech Budvar, which predated their rotten product by at least a century.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:43 | Link to Comment tsuki
tsuki's picture

What the EU needs to do is hire Chris Dodd to lobby for enforcement of copyright to infinity. 

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:17 | Link to Comment Reader1
Reader1's picture

This is freaking hilarious-a world trade regime colossal cluster-frig held up for minor issues like name rights to foods we can't buy from each other, anyway.  Poles fighting to call their sausage, which they can't sell here anyway, Greeks fighting to protect cheese they can't sell here, anyway, French fighting to protect champagne no one buys here, anyway, and Americans fighting to sell GMO food no one in Europe wants to eat, anyway....

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