French farmers win imitation game in battle to keep Morbier cheese unique | World

Morbier, the raw milk cheese from eastern France, has been known for the distinctive black layer of activated charcoal that has run through its middle for the past two centuries.

Now the farmers who make it have won a historic ruling to prevent rivals from using activated charcoal in the same way. It is thought to be the first time a court has protected the appearance of a cheese.

Judges said that Montboissié du Haut Livradois, a cheese from central France, could no longer be sold with activated charcoal in its middle because it looked too much like Morbier.

Commentators say the ruling will set a precedent, enabling the makers of other foods with protected designation of origin status to take action against products that


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