Document:National Press Release 29 August 2000 No Joke: The USDA is debating the proper size of holes in Swiss cheese

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WASHINGTON, DC – Department of Agriculture bureaucrats are trying to decide how big the holes in Swiss cheese should be (no, that’s not a joke) – which proves once and for all that the Washington, DC bureaucracy is an “out-of-control muenster,” says the Libertarian Party.

“We know federal bureaucrats don’t have enough to do, but when they start spending our tax dollars to cheddar-chatter about the correct size of the holes in Swiss cheese, well, they ought to be dipped in a fondue pot,” said the party’s press secretary, George Getz.

“The fact is, the only holes that need to be regulated are the holes in the heads of federal bureaucrats.”

Late last month, the USDA released a proposed new 15-page regulation that would require the holes in Swiss cheese to be reduced from an average of eleven-sixteenths to three-eighths of an inch in diameter in order to qualify for a federal Grade A rating.

The new guidelines – which will replace federal Swiss cheese standards established in 1987 – were revealed by the Washington Post this month, and have already been criticized by Citizens Against Government Waste and Gourmet magazine.

For Libertarians, the new Swiss cheese rule – and the fact that federal bureaucrats care about such trivial issues – is just another example of how the federal government is up to, well, no gouda.

“Something smells here, and it isn’t the Limburger,” said Getz. “It’s these federal brieaucrats who think they should be able to tax, regulate, mandate, subsidize, prohibit, and micromanage every area of our lives – up to and including the size of holes in our Swiss cheese.

“Americas are getting feta up with this kind of meddling. If these busybodies are not stopped, what will they regulate next? The size of the holes in doughnuts? The size of the holes in onion rings? The size of the holes in Bill Clinton’s alibis?”

Instead of worrying about such trivia, those federal chees dips should just leave Americans’ provolone alone, said Getz.

“Americans don’t need Monterey Jack-booted thugs from the USDA messing with our Swiss cheese,” he said. “The bottom line is that this cheese regulation is to the proper function of government what Cheese Whiz is to real cheese.”