China has lifted an import ban on types of cheese that get their flavor and smell from bacteria. Health officials initially put a ban on the cheeses after authorities discovered that the bacteria used to make the cheeses were not officially approved. The cheeses now approved for sale include Brie and Camembert. The ban was lifted after meetings between the European Commission and Chinese quarantine and health officials. China's health commission said the bacteria used to make these cheeses were not harmful to consumers' health.
Cheese lovers in China were happy that they could continue to enjoy their favourite dairy product. Cheese is becoming more and more popular in China. It is not a typical part of the Chinese diet but tastes are changing. More Chinese people have a taste for cheese because of a recent increase in pizza restaurants and other western food. A cheese importer in Shanghai said: "It's a real relief. It is now written…that this category of cheese is legally importable." Cheese sales in China will be worth $820 million this year. This is a 25 per cent increase from last year.