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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Federal food and drug officials are cracking down on companies that are lying about selling pure Parmesan Cheese.
The Food and Drug Administration is warning the public that some cheeses labeled “100 percent Parmesan” are often packed with substitutes like wood pulp, according to Time.com.
One company being put under the ringer is Castle Cheese which made Parmesan cheese that had no actual Parmesan for almost 30 years.
That same company provided cheese to mega-stores like Target.
The president of that company is scheduled to plead guilty this month to charges that carry a sentence of up to a year and $100,000.
The head of Arthur Shcuman Inc. – the largest seller of hard Italian Cheese in the U.S.- said about 20 percent of such cheese is mislabeled.
Bloomberg tested store-bought grated cheese looking for wood pulp content. They found that many of the cheeses have cellulose which is made from wood pulp. Some of the companies tested included Jewel-Osco which had 8.8 percent cellulose. Walmart’s Great Value 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese had 7.8 percent. Whole Foods’ 365 brand didn’t list cellulose but had .3 percent while Kraft had 3.8 percent.
According to the magazine, store reps said they are investigating.