Pulp fiction and fact: Wood, cellulose and Parmesan cheese

March 21, 2016

In recent lawsuits and media reports about the FDA’s prosecution of a manufacturer of grated Parmesan, plaintiff’s lawyers and reporters claim some Parmesan varieties have unsafe levels of certain ingredients, including “wood pulp.”

Let’s separate fact from the pulp fiction — starting with one prominent Bloomberg report, “The Parmesan You Sprinkle on Your Penne Could be Wood,” which has sparked at least one lawsuit against Kraft.

Bloomberg reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had caught Pennsylvania-based Castle Cheese Inc. “doctoring its 100% real parmesan with cut-rate substitutes and such fillers as wood pulp and distributing it to some of…