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October 2002 Volume 8 Number 4
Europe: Food, Migrates
European food producers want to protect the names of their products, such as Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. Regional producers of specialty food convinced the EU that specific natural conditions at the food's place of origin are an essential ingredient to its quality, and thus cheese made elsewhere cannot be labeled Parmesan and sold in the European Union. The European Union enforces rights to the names of about 600 regional foods, ranging from famous products such as Italy's Parma ham and France's Roquefort cheese to such lesser-known items as 10 distinct varieties of Greek table olives.<< back
The EU wants to extend name protections for specialty foods to global trade via the World Trade Organization. The WTO is dealing with trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, or TRIPS, and the EU wants to extend legal protections for certain wines and spirits to a broad range of traditional food products, overturning, for instance, US trademarks. The US says that, as an immigrant society in which traditional methods of making cheese and ham were imported, food label protections should not be limited to the place where the product originated.
Estimates of the number of Chinese migrants in Russia range from 200,000 to five million. Most of the Chinese remain in the Russian Far East, but some are moving to Siberia and European Russia. For example, along the Volga River, farmers have traditionally relied on migrants. However, when train service with Tajikistan ended, they turned to Chinese migrants.
For example, 232 Chinese with visas are employed on vegetable farms in 2002 in Volgograd region, 550 miles southeast of Moscow. Most of these Chinese are from China's northern Jilin province, and expect to earn $800 to $1,000 for their seven months in Russia.