Thursday, April 26, 2007

Washington Post: It’s not Over

The article in the Washington Post appeared on their website a little while ago.

Chocolate Purists Cry Foul as FDA Fudges Standards
Proposal Whips Up a Food Fight
By Michael S. Rosenwald

Here are a few interesting passages:

Chocolate purists, of which there are apparently many, have undertaken a grassroots letter-writing campaign to the FDA to inform the agency that such a change to the standards is just not okay with them. More than 225 comments to the petition have been processed so far by the agency, and chocolate bloggers are pressing for more. In the annals of bureaucratic Washington battles, this is a sweet one.

When I talked to Michael Rosenwald about what happens to those comments we submitted on the website, he said that the 225 number was just what they’ve processed. On the FDA website, in their dockets section they have a Daily Listing which shows what they’ve processed lately. They post updates every weekday, however they don’t necessarily process the comments immediately. There’s a big gap between the processed comments since April 16th was the only one I found and then they posted a list on April 23rd. I don’t know how many more are in the queue ... hopefully enough.

Kirk Saville, a Hershey’s spokesman, said it was “premature to speculate on any changes before the process is complete.” He was more expansive in speaking to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, in the company’s back yard, saying “There are high-quality oils available which are equal to or better than cocoa butter in taste, nutrition, texture and function, and are preferred by consumers.”

I’m not an industry insider working at a mega huge company like Hershey’s, so I don’t know about this high quality oil that’s equal to or better than cocoa butter.

From the department of cooler heads comes Nick Malgieri, the director of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that this would be optional,” Malgieri said. “No one is going to force a high-class chocolate maker to add vegetable fat to chocolate.” Asked if fine chocolate would just melt away, he said, “Absolutely not.”

This is so true. Just like there’s crappy real chocolate and really good chocolate right now. However, I think that gap will get wider.

If you have comments for the FDA, tell the directly!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:11 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyFDANews

  1. Pretty good headline. Rosenwald seems to be working overtime to come off as—cough— “fair and balanced”, no?

    Faux. Phooey.

    If he read a few of your posts (Soda Can Fizzy Candy & Sugar Babies would be a good start) he’d see you’re no chocolate-snob! Oh, well… ‘Tis great he quotes from the Harrisburg paper.

    Also, that the deadline has been extended. In the meantime, I wonder if anything “interesting” will come to light re this proposal - the mega huge companies - the Bush administration - the Republican Party - the FDA.

    Just following the money.

    Comment by desertwind on 4/27/07 at 12:40 am #
  2. I just tried to post the below on the FDA website as linked from the Giradeli website but the submit got an error message… I respectfully urge that the changes as regards the “use a vegetable fat in place of another vegetable fat named in the standard (e.g., cacao fat).” not be allowed as requested in the petition described in the Washington Post article “Chocolate Purists Alarmed by Proposal To Fudge Standards” 27 Apr 07. If a manufacturor feels that another vegetable fat can produce a better product that is well and good. The market place will validate them (or not) but it should not be allowed to be labeled or called ‘Chocolate’. Thank you.

    Comment by Ksong on 4/27/07 at 3:35 am #
  3. Just saw the article on Fark. and if there’s one thing i know, Farkers Love them some Chocolate…

    Comment by WilliamB on 4/27/07 at 11:28 am #
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