My beloved chocolate, whose place in my heart (and stomach) is eclipsed only by the lovely Noshette of the North, is in grave danger.
I was alerted to very serious situation by The Center for Food Safety, from which I receive regular alerts via email. You can get yourself on their email list by joining their True Food Network, where you can receive emails about taking action on issues such as cloned foods and irradiated ground beef.
As many people know, chocolate derives its' deliciousness from cocoa butter, cocoa mass, and in the case of milk chocolate, milk (powder or solids). If the cocoa butter is replaced with some other substance, such as vegetable oil, it cannot be labeled as "chocolate", but must be called "chocolate-flavoured" or "candy" or some other combination of words that will hopefully inform the consumer that the product they are looking at is NOT chocolate.
Some greedy people are trying to change things so they can label anything they want as "chocolate". A group of 11 food industry powerhouses, led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade association representing the world's largest food companies, such as General Mills, Nestle, and Coca-Cola, which incidentally merged in January 2007 with the Food Products Association (which deceivingly changed their name from the National Food Processors Association), have petitioned to change this rule so they can make "chocolate" with non-chocolate oils and milk substitutes.
From what I can tell, this petition was submitted by a group of "citizens". Besides the GMA/FPA, some other "citizens" who have signed this petition are: the National Dairy Foods Association, the American Frozen Food Institute, and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. I think it's high time some of the other 300 million US citizens (and any Canadian or other citizens of the world) voiced their opinion on this petition.
The FDA is holding a public comment period, which was originally scheduled to conclude today but has fortunately been changed to end on May, 2007, where you can express yourself concerning the future of chocolate. Click here to send the FDA a comment.
Please, save chocolate. I love it so.
The link I provided to submit your comment to the FDA seems to be intermittently malfunctioning. If the link to the proper FDA comment submission page does not work, then here is another way of doing it:
If you have any problems, please report them here and I will clear up any problems as soon as possible.