Athens, Nov. 2 - Greece Friday urged European Union nations to help guarantee its exclusive right to use feta as the name for its famously tangy cheese.
"In view of the immense economic and social importance of feta for Greece, it is necessary that controls are taken in your countries to see if businesses are not conforming to community regulations," the agriculture ministry said in a letter to ambassadors of the E.U.'s 26 other members.
In 2005, the European Court of Justice struck down an appeal from Germany and Denmark - backed by France and the U.K. - over the right of their producers to keep using the feta name for their white, brine-soaked cheeses. But the court maintained a previously established five-year transition period to phase out the name's use in Europe that expired Oct. 14.
Feta counts among a number of region-specific foods and beverages which European countries are fighting to maintain their appellation of origin.