Apparently, in a quest for greater profits, major chocolate manufacturers in the U.S. are petitioning the FDA to redefine chocolate. Under the proposed change
, manufacturers could use vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter and whey instead of whole milk or milk powder. According to Bloomberg
, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association includes Hershey, Nestle, and Archer Daniels Midland, and you can bet that if any of these enormous companies objected, the chances that the proposal would have been sent in would be slim. Thanks to manufacturer Guittard for breaking ranks and publicly objecting to this farce and for enlisting companies like See's Candies (good chocolates and owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway). As someone from See's says (sorry, couldn't resist), "If the margarine manufacturers could call their product butter instead of being required to call it margarine, wouldn't it strike the consumer as being odd?'' That's effectively what's happening here. The Bloomberg report had this, as well:
Hershey, the largest U.S. candy maker, says that broader labeling is needed to keep up with changing consumer tastes. "The petition would modernize all food standards, increasing flexibility to accommodate changes in technology," Kirk Saville, spokesman for the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company, said in an interview. "Changes, if adopted, would provide the flexibility to make changes based on consumer taste preference, ingredient costs and availability, and shelf life."
Or changes based on profits. Unfortunately, mass manufactured chocolate is so far below the good stuff in quality that many people may have lost the ability to tell whether it is getting even worse. Today is the last day for public comment - use this form
Labels: ADM, Archer Daniels MIdland, Berkshire Hathaway, chocolate, cocoa butter, Guittard, Hershey, Nestle, See's Candies, Warren Buffet