Newstalk
Newstalk

16.53 21 Mar 2017


Share this article


A butter grading law in the United States has meant Irish butter Kerrygold has been taken off the shelves.

Wisconsin is the only American state to enforce the law, forcing people to turn to the black market.

On the books since 1953, the law is strict: it requires butters to be rated on various measures — including flavour, body and colour — by the federal government or people licensed as butter and cheese graders with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Advertisement

Wisconsin’s grading scale dictates that the highest-graded butter must “possess a fine and highly pleasing butter flavour.”

Graders might describe a butter as “crumbly,” ”gummy” or “sticky,” and its colour as “mottled,” ”streaked” or “speckled.”

Anybody convicted of selling unlabeled or ungraded butter is subject to a fine between $100 and $1,000 and six months in jail.

As Kerrygold is made and manufactured in Ireland, it doesn’t meet Wisconsin’s stringent requirements.

However, foodies in the state are now challenging the law in order to make Kerrygold more easily accessible to people.

The plaintiffs said they have to travel over state lines to purchase Kerrygold because the company doesn't subject its product to the state's evaluation for taste, colour and texture, as determined by the department.

Jake Curtis is the Associate Counsel for The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, and is acting on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case. The conservative legal group said the grading process is subjective and doesn’t protect consumers - the real issue, the group argues, is personal freedom.

Curtis acknowledged it’s a light-hearted case, but told Moncrieff that "economic liberty is a civil right.”

Reaction

A spokesperson for Kerrygold said in a statement that they are working with authorities to make the butter available in the state.

"Under Wisconsin legislation, retail butter for sale in Wisconsin must bear either a Wisconsin or federal grade mark. This effectively excludes Kerrygold butter being sold in Wisconsin because Kerrygold butter is graded, produced and packaged in Ireland.

"We are currently working with the Wisconsin authorities on a solution which will enable consumers throughout the state enjoy the great taste of Kerrygold butter."

You can listen to Jake Curtis' interview on Moncrieff in full below.

A group in the US is trying to take Kerrygold off the black market

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share this article


Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-19:00

Share

Up next

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

07:00-08:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WEEKENDS

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WEEKENDS

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on