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Faux-Parm Perps Face Prison Time


#CheeseCrime never pays…esepcially if you are caught by the FDA. On Friday, February 26, former president of Castle Cheese Michelle Myrter pleaded guilty to mislabeling the supposedly “100% Parmesan” product produced from her family-owned company. Two other companies under her purview that packaged and shipped the cheese, International Packing LLC and Universal Cheese and Drying Inc., are also on the chopping block, looking at fines of up to $500,000. Myrter herself faces a fine of up to $500,000 and a year’s worth of prison time.

Since news broke of the wood pulp parmesan, Walmart has taken heat after their own Great Value product contained 7.8 percent cellulose. For reference, the regular, acceptable amount of cellulose in food products is between 2 to 4 percent. That 6 percent was enough for customer Mar Moschetta to file a class action lawsuit to settle the false representation of the product.

But that’s not all! Kraft’s got a lawsuit of its own regarding its grated parmesan, which contains 4 percent cellulose. This isn’t the first time Kraft has faced mislabeling charges, either. Will cheese enthusiasts have the tough rind needed to bring this all the way to a judge? The next few weeks will have the answer.

The cheese wheel of retribution will no doubt be spurred by these lawsuits. Is this a great turning point in the quality of cheese throughout America? Are we, perhaps, at the beginning of a cheesy revolution? If the people rise up against the greedy mold of corporations, this could be the start of a glorious new age of beautiful, pure cheese in every supermarket nationwide.

Cary Spector

Cary is a BFA Writing, Literature and Publishing Major at Emerson College. When not enjoying the luxuries of cheese and other dairy, he can most likely be found making guacamole. "If there are avocados, there will be guac,” as he always says.