Committees make decisions for all sorts of reasons. Rules can be made based upon how easy they are to describe so people can follow them or they can be made complex to account for all the exceptions. Either way, nobody is satisfied because either the simplified rule makes mistakes or the complicated rules are complicated to understand.
What strikes me is the implications in the reports that plastic could be less safe, because cuts become impossible to clean properly, while wood's antibacterial nature (trees protect themselves from wood, the same processes still work in cut wood) means even when cut the grooves neutralize the pathogens. Now, that's for cutting boards, not shelves, and it's looking at bacteria, not fungus or yeasts, etc. There are lots of things one has to consider. I would think a university with a food science course could look at this issue in a similar way, or is the UW you mentioned University of Wisconsin, meaning it's been done already? It might be of use to try and get artisan cheese makers put together some cash to put together some PhD scholarships (enough to cover the students tuition and some living expenses like food and shelter) to support students in a food science course investigating safe materials for the aging of cheese. Get 20 or 30 small cheesemaking companies together, and the cost per company is probably in the $1000 range per year for supporting one PhD student (well, I'm thinking tuition costs in Canada or New Zealand, the US is more expensive I believe, at least some of the Universities are that is). Anyway, the key is to make sure the funds are provided with no expectations of what the results will be, i.e. you don't fund them to prove wood is good, you fund them to investigate materials, traditional and modern, to determine best hygiene and food safety practice. You could request that a copy of the thesis and any publications be sent to you (the scholarship suppliers) - not for approval to be published, etc, but rather, you want to see the results once they are finalized by publication etc. (A lot of companies try and get Universities to do research for them, but then control the publication of the findings - this is bad as it skews the information upon which decisions are made and warps our understanding of the topic in question. Universities are about generating knowledge, if a company wants to take advantage of the high concentration of researchers and thinkers, then great, but they should pay for it by losing control of the right to disseminate that knowledge. If they want to keep hold of the knowledge, they can hire graduates and pay them to work in their own R&D unit. Hmmmm, I'm digressing, aren't I?
That being said, getting $1000.00 / year for 3-5 years (a scholarship typically runs 3-5 years) from one small company would be a mission, trying to get 20 or 30 of them? Might be impossible. More realistically, talk to local University Professors who do food safety type stuff, and see if you can interest them in the question. They'll then run with it.