No Chocolate? Jesus!

Ken AshfordCorporate GreedLeave a Comment

Charlie_chocolate_posterThis is something that even non-political people can get behind.

The FDA wants to take away your chocolate.

That’s right.  Pending right now is a "citizen’s petition" which would allow chocolate manufacturers (Hershey’s etc.) to use vegatable fats instead of cocoa butter, and still call the result "chocolate".  Of course, the "citizens" who submitted this petition are the Chocolate Manufacturers Assn., the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., the Snack Food Assn., and several other big producers.

If the FDA approves, that means that your favorite chocolate bar, ice cream, fondue, whatever — will not necessarily contain actual cocoa (the raw ingredient of chocolate).

Cybele May, who writes a candy blog, explains:

This is what they think of us chocolate eaters, according to their petition on file at the FDA:

"Consumer expectations still define the basic nature of a food. There are, however, no generally held consumer expectations today concerning the precise technical elements by which commonly recognized, standardized foods are produced. Consumers, therefore, are not likely to have formed expectations as to production methods, aging time or specific ingredients used for technical improvements, including manufacturing efficiencies."

Let me translate: "Consumers won’t know the difference."

She goes on to argue that consumers do know the difference.  They can tell the difference between "chocolate-flavored" candy (like those waxy "chocolate" rabbits we get at Easter), and actual chocolate candy.  She notes that:

Nine of the 10 bestselling U.S. chocolate candies are made with the real stuff. M&Ms, Hershey Bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — all real chocolate. Butterfinger is the outlier.

Fortunately, you can fight back.  Send a comment to the FDA, through this website (just follow the "How To Help" links).