If you've been preparing to mourn the loss of Roquefort cheese, we've got good news for you: Yesterday, the United States struck a deal with the European Union, agreeing to drop its proposed tariff on Roquefort cheese, and products like Spanish ham and Italian mineral water.
The stink over taxes first began 10 years ago with a European Union ban on hormone-treated American beef, yet over the last few months, the controversy has heated back up. Before leaving office, President Bush proposed a 300 percent tariff on the pungent blue cheese from France. But when the tax was postponed, it appeared that the two countries were trying to work out a compromise. Although insiders are calling this a "first step" toward resolution, it doesn't completely address the problem at hand, and there are still many other measures that need to be taken. The agreement has to be approved by a number of officials from European Union countries. While the USDA maintains that hormone-fed beef is safe to eat, the EU still believes hormones could create health risks such as cancer.
The beef issue will continue to be a contentious one, but it's great news for Roquefort fanatics like myself. I can't wait to celebrate with a hunk of the creamy, pungent blue cheese! Will you do the same? Where do you stand on the beef issue?