Chocolate is in danger – please help!

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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.

A lot of info about this issue, along with the image I used, can be found at candyblog, a nice blog about candy, and also at Don't Mess With Our Chocolate.

Please, save chocolate. I love it so.

NOTE:
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:

First, visit the FDA 'Dockets Open for Comment' webpage.
Then, find 2007P-0085 from the list, which I found on page 2, and click on the docket number or the word "go" in the right-most column.

If you have any problems, please report them here and I will clear up any problems as soon as possible.

7 Responsesto “Chocolate is in danger – please help!”

  1. Susan says:

    That anyone is considering messing with chocolate is unthinkable. Is there nothing left that is sacred in this country? It is imperative that these mega-companies are not allowed to dump whatever they want into our chocolate. People should know what they are eating.....I thought we had food safety and truth in packaging in this country.

  2. Nosher of the North says:

    Thanks for the comments.
    Let's just hope enough people send emails, and that the FDA actually listens to us.

  3. La La Linda says:

    Well, I printed and distributed the article and links at our weekly Thurs. lunch group at work -- consisting of about a dozen chocolate-crazed women, where we of course noshed on chocolate brought back from wherever someone had been...in this case, Frango's from Chicago. It's a ritual and a 'rule"--for ex., when I come back from SF, I'm supposed to have Scharffenberger or Ghirardelli or See's or SOMETHING to reward those who stayed behind. We'll all be signing the petition, not to worry. WE ARE CRAZED to think they are thinkin' of messin' with our chocolate. Nice job on the article--thanks!

  4. La La Linda says:

    BAD NEWS. I just used the link to get to the comment website for the FDA, gave them my name, etc., wrote the comment, and then their website has an "administrative error" -- has this happened to anyone else???!!!!

  5. Corn Maven says:

    LLL: The same exact thing happened for me too.

  6. Nosher of the North says:

    Good News!

    I fixed the link.
    It seems that perhaps the FDA has changed the URL that I linked to. I went to the "Don’t Mess With Our Chocolate" website and their link is also faulty. Hmm...

    If anyone has any trouble submitting their comment, I have added instructions on how to get to the proper page at the bottom of my original post (above).

    Please keep it up!

    Thanks,

    Nosher