EU Commission Sues Berlin in Parmesan Cheese Row | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 09.07.2004
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EU Commission Sues Berlin in Parmesan Cheese Row

The European Commission has sued Germany at Europe's highest court for failing to take action against producers of imitation Parmesan cheese. Parmesan, like France's Champagne and Medoc wines, is a protected name under European Union rules. To merit the name Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano, the cheese must be made in the northern Italian region it's named for. "Germany does not give full protection to this protected designation of origin," the commission said in a statement. "Member states are required to protect registered names against any misuse, imitation or evocation." Germany insists that Parmesan is a generic name and anyone can make the hard, crumbly cheese. But Berlin will have to follow the EU rules if the court decides in Brussels' favor or face a fine.