A federal judge dismissed the case, saying that customers should read labels before purchasing packaged food. Cellulose, a byproduct of wood pulp, is a common ingredient listed on grated Parmesan cheese.
What other horrors might be sifted into the cheese?
Last year, Kraft Heinz, Walmart, and Target stores were slammed with 50 lawsuits that were consolidated into one multidistrict litigation overseen by U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman in Chicago.
The plaintiffs argued that the manufacturers violated numerous state consumer protection statutes by falsely advertising the product's purity.
Judge Feinerman argued that the cheese itself was most likely pure. Regarding the label, Feinerman said:
It also might be an assertion that 100% of the cheese is parmesan cheese, or that the parmesan cheese is 100% grated. Cheese is a dairy product, after all, and reasonable consumers are well aware that pure dairy products spoil, grow blue, green, or black fuzz, or otherwise become inedible if left unrefrigerated for an extended period of time.
yo Dr. Oz just said that there's wood chips in Parmesan cheese WHAT KIND OF WORLD HAS THIS BECOME— mohle magic (@MohleMohleMohle) June 20, 2016
Cellulose is derived from wood chips, which doesn't sound very appealing. But the added ingredient is a dietary fiber comprising oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, and passes through our GI tract without absorption. In other words, grated
wood pulp cheese won't hurt you.
Kraft issued a statement:
Kraft Heinz applauds the Court's dismissal of plaintiffs' complaints today and fully agrees that the labeling of our Parmesan cheese is not misleading.
Of course, there's always the option of grating a fresh block of Parmesan.