Friday, April 27, 2007

FDA Chocolate Changes Coverage

It took a while for the media to pick up on the story, but momentum is building. Here’s the coverage that I’ve been following (partly because I’ve been interviewed). Here’s the FDA page for the proposal.

Coverage of the issue of changing food labeling and naming standards:

  • NPR - Talk of the Nation - 4/24/2007 (listen online and comment on the Blog of the Nation)

  • Washington Post - Chocolate Purists Alarmed by Proposal To Fudge Standards: Lines Drawn Over Cocoa Butter by Michael S. Rosenwald (here’s the Appendix C that he mentions in the article)

  • Bloomberg - Hershey Battles Chocolate Connoisseurs Over Selling ‘Mockolate’ by Adam Satariano

  • ABC News - Changing the Fat in Chocolate: New Proposal Urges FDA to Allow Vegetable Oil Instead of Cacao Butter; Health Experts Say This Would Not Make Chocolate Healthier by Dan Childs.

  • Los Angeles Times - The courage of their confections: Two candy makers are asking chocolate lovers to protest plans to allow cheaper ingredients. Vegetable oil, anyone? by Jerry Hirsch (and my follow-up Editorial)

  • Patriot News - Could changes be coming for chocolate? by Tom Dochat

  • San Francisco Chronicle - Guittard protests proposal to allow vegetable oil in chocolate by Carol Ness
  • I also did an interview this morning with ABC Radio News, so that may be airing today.

    Finally, in the NYTimes Magazine last week there was an interesting article: You Are What You Grow by Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) about the farm bill and why we’re such a starchy, oily and plump nation.

    If you’re moved to respond, check out this page with a tutorial on how to leave a comment on the FDA’s comment page.

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:03 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     Candy

    1. I just wanted to point out this
      from Hershey Corp., written in 2000.

      In this letter,  Hershey Corp. states:
      “Hershey remains <u>strongly opposed</u> to the addition of non-cacao vegetable fats in any quantity to standardized chocolate products as currently proposed in brackets in Section 2.1.  If vegetable fats other than cocoa butter are added to chocolate, then the label of such produce should be required to clearly and conspicuously distinguish such products from standardized chocolate, similar to the approach taken in the current U.S. Standards (Sweet Chocolate and Vegetable Fat Coating; Milk Chocolate and Vegetable Fat Coating).”

      (The emphasis in the above paragraph is Hershey’s.)

      So what’s changed since 2000? Shouldn’t this reasoning still hold?

      Comment by anonymous on 4/29/07 at 1:28 pm #
    2. Ah! And if you continue reading the letter, it says:

      “The Minimum Milk Solids requirements found throughout the draft standard and in the proposed Table should be clarified to restore the requirement that non-fat milk solids be in their natural proportions.  We are concerned that the intent of this proposal is to allow unlimited amounts of whey and/or lactose in milk chooclate and that these dairy components could be used as a substitute for milke and used to fulfill minimum milk solids requirements.  Requiring that non-fat milk soids be present in their natural proporition is essential to maintaining the defining characteristics of chooclate producs which contain milk, preventing customer fraud, ensuring nutritional value, and is also consistent with the requirements of the U.S. Standards.”

      Comment by anonymous on 4/29/07 at 1:35 pm #
    3. Cybele's avatar

      Thanks for that, Anon!

      I’ll look into it further. It appears that these documents were related to a USDA committee to set standards across borders around the time that the EU was also reviewing theirs.

      Comment by Cybele on 4/30/07 at 6:20 am #
    4. Pretty good story

      Comment by Adam Shalaby on 4/16/08 at 3:12 pm #
    Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

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