Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Almighty Buck Government United States Politics

FDA Considers Redefining Chocolate 939

shewfig writes "The US Food and Drug Administration is considering redefining 'chocolate' to allow substitution of vegetable oil ($0.70/lb.) for cocoa butter ($2.30/lb.), and whey protein for dry whole milk. There are already standard terms to differentiate these products from chocolate, such as 'chocolatey' and 'chocolate-flavored.' The change was requested by the industry group Chocolate Manufacturers of America. Leading the resistance to this change is high-end chocolate maker Guittard, with significant grass-roots support from the Candyblog. The FDA is taking consumer comments until April 25. Here is the FDA page on the proposed change, which oddly enough does not say what the proposed change is."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

FDA Considers Redefining Chocolate

Comments Filter:
  • Oh, great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <nmb3000@that-google-mail-site.com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:37PM (#18849599) Journal
    As if American chocolate wasn't bad enough as it is...
    • by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:40PM (#18849631) Homepage Journal
      As if American chocolate wasn't bad enough as it is...


      The quality of American chocolate is every bit fine as American cheese, American Pizza, American Wine, American beer... oh wait!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 246o1 ( 914193 )
        Though I am not a chocolate freak, I have to assume that there are American chocolatiers who make fine products. Just because most people in America are satistfied with non-gourmet products doesn't mean that those products aren't out there.

        I am someone who like pizza and beer, and I know there are lots of good pizzas and beers to be found out there. Of course, everyone's definition of a good beer is different, but I've come across a lot of really good stuff in America, from John Harvard's house brews in B
        • Without researching much, Ghiradelli is a higher end chocolate brand in the US. I'm sure there're others as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rank_Tyro ( 721935 )
        California is part of America, and we make some very good wines here. The price of French wine has come down quite a bit because of competition from the U.S. as well as Australia.

        From Wikipedia....

        In addition to large scale wineries, Napa Valley's boutique wineries produce some of the world's best wines. The producers of these wines include but are not limited to: Araujo, Bryant Family, Colgin, Dalla Valle Maya, Diamond Creek, Dominus, Dunn Howell Mountain, Grace Family, Harlan, Husic, Kistler, Jericho Cany
      • Re:Oh, great (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kklein ( 900361 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:06AM (#18849901)
        Um, Northern California is one of the world's most-renowned wine regions. And the American microbrew explosion has been producing international-awards-earning beers for well over a decade. And pizza IS American food (as in, it is not the same as the original Italian food from which it is derived). And there is a growing number of excellent cheese companies in America. I'd be the first to admit that American-made chocolate (as in, they MADE the chocolate, from scratch, instead of just buying it from France and repackaging it--cough No-Ka cough) is nothing to write home about (unless the text of the missive was "It sucks."), but seriously, American gourmet has come a very long way in recent decades. Just, you know, to be clear... I know it was a joke and all, but... You know.
    • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:46PM (#18849699)
      Yes, but this move will allow the government to increase the chocolate ration to 20 grams per week.
    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:46PM (#18849701) Journal

      I hope this doesn't fly ...

      You got your peanut butter in my chocolate-y flavoured vegetable oil!
      You got your chocolate-y flavoured vegetable oil in my peanut butter!
      F*ing gross, dude! I ain't eating that sh*t ...

      Not to mention the "anal leakage" you'll get from eating too much "vegetable oil chocolatey junk".

      • Worse yet, some are producing 'diet' chocolate with sugars like maltitol, which does not get absorbed in the stomach like most sugars. But the bacteria in the large intestine can metabolize maltitol, and they produce lots of gas...
      • Way too Late... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tempest69 ( 572798 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @03:21AM (#18851373) Journal
        Unfortunatly, that peanut butter has been changed too. Peanut oil is expensive, so it is removed from peanut butter and replaced with soy/corn/canola/motor oil (oops motor oil is too expensive.)

        so try and replace peanut butter with Peanut-Vegetable Margarine and then try to stomach it..double points if both use olestra.


  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:38PM (#18849605) Homepage Journal
    From the CMA's How Chocolate is Made [chocolateusa.org] page:

    The main ingredient used to make chocolate is cocoa beans.
    Wonder if they're planning on changing that?
  • Good news however (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:42PM (#18849647) Homepage
    Once ethanol production drives up the cost of corn, perhaps we will start to see real sugar used instead of high-fructose corn syrup.
  • by Harmonious Botch ( 921977 ) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:42PM (#18849651) Homepage Journal
    My name is Harmonious Botch and I'm a chocoholic. A fucking serious chocoholic. I figure I spend about 200 per month on it. Were I this hooked on booze or heroin, I'd be dead by now.

    There is already crud in the chocolate. Any serious consumer of chocolate already knows to read the ingredients.
    To write this post, I went to the trash can, pulled out a package of inferior quality candy that my wonderful but misguided wife had bought. I had thrown it away because of the crud in it. Under "ingredients", it says: "palm, shea, sunflower, and/or safflower oil". There is already whey protein in it also.

    A little vegetable oil is not going to make a big difference. Over the last decade or two they have snuck palm oil in, and sometimes even wax, and most consumers didn't notice. Most of you won't notice the vegtable oil either, and those of us who do already read the labels.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I'm a chocoholic. A fucking serious chocoholic.

      Yeah, I feel ya, man. I'm like a chocoholic, but for booze. [theonion.com]
    • by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:58PM (#18849841)

      Over the last decade or two they have snuck palm oil in, and sometimes even wax, and most consumers didn't notice.
      I noticed the wax. It's called Hershey's.
    • by espressojim ( 224775 ) <eris@NOsPam.tarogue.net> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:12AM (#18849967)
      Some of us refuse to go lower than Valrhona, usually in the 60-70% cocoa, with Dark Chocolate Noir Orange 64% Cocoa being our favorite (purchased in 1/2 lb bars.)

      Why eat shitty chocolate when you can have good stuff? My SO finds that if we buy crappy chocolate, she just eats more of it and isn't satisfied. Good chocolate like the above satisfies her in an ounce or two (or three) serving size, so she eats less and enjoys more.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ivan256 ( 17499 )

        Why eat shitty chocolate when you can have good stuff?

        I know this may sound like blasphemy to a dark chocolate buff, but Valrhona Grand Cru Jivara Lactée is one of my favorite consumable substances on the planet. It's easily available at a local grocer. So why would I eat chocolate that, in comparison, is sub-standard? Easy: Cost. The Valrhona costs $11/lb on sale. Local producers make acceptable product for less than half the cost. Sure, I'll buy the good stuff and treat myself now and then, but I c

    • by transporter_ii ( 986545 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:29AM (#18850143) Homepage

      Also, among the already mentioned items, there is a lot of pesticides in it:

      News Flash! Source: AllAfrica News (West Africa Business)

      "Cocoa Production, Employment, Shot Up By Mass Spraying - Jun 12 2003 Available data convincingly proves that Ghana's Cocoa Diseases and Pests Control project (CODAPEC), commonly known as the Mass Spraying Exercise, has tremendously improved the yield of cocoa, which remains one of the most important foreign exchange earners."1

      [P]esticide residues routinely turn up in chocolate products sold in the USA5 and Europe.6 For as long as the leaders in the chocolate industry refuse to acknowledge that a pesticide problem exists, we have no hope of finding (or even looking for) a realistic solution to that problem.

      see: http://www.tava.com.au/article_chemicals.html [tava.com.au]

      I first ran into this in the book Diet for a Poisoned Planet. Peanuts and Chocolate were among the most contaminated foods in the American diet. Chocolate was high because it is imported from a lot of countries that do not have as tough of laws as we do (and ironically, they buy a lot of the chemicals from us!).


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jsebrech ( 525647 )
      A little vegetable oil is not going to make a big difference. Over the last decade or two they have snuck palm oil in, and sometimes even wax, and most consumers didn't notice. Most of you won't notice the vegtable oil either, and those of us who do already read the labels.

      I'm Belgian. Belgium has great chocolate. When I visited NYC this was something that I noticed a lot. The chocolate sold in stores there was awful. Even the absolute best tasting brand (according to the US friend I was staying with) taste
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:46PM (#18849695)
    Did you ever know a "chocoholic"? One of those folks who just can't get enough chocolate? I bet there's at least one in your home or workplace. At my house, it's my wife Emily. She's got to have her little bowl of Hershey's Kisses in the living room. She can't go shopping without bringing home some chocolate ice cream or a chocolate-cake mix. She's even got a funny little sweatshirt that says, "My Name Is Emily, And I'm A Chocoholic."

    To be honest, I'm a bit of a chocoholic myself. Except for one small detail. You see, instead of being addicted to chocolate, I'm addicted to booze. Yep, from dawn to dusk, there's one thing on my mind: booze! Beer, liquor, wine, all that stuff!

    When my wife gets one of her cravings, she reaches for a Baby Ruth or Mars bar. With me, it's Icehouse beer. My refrigerator is always stocked with plenty of it. I also have a little flask of whiskey in my desk drawer at work. In fact, if you can keep a secret, I even keep some booze in my car in case of traffic jams. I just can't stand to be without booze for too long!

    I'm a lot like that Cookie Monster on Sesame Street. Only it's more like the Booze Monster. When I walk into a party and see that they have booze of any kind, it's like, "Whoa-hoa! All bets are off! Lemme at that booze!"

    I remember this one time, there was no chocolate in the house. Emily was going out of her mind, trying to scrape up some sort of chocolate fix. In the end, she resorted to drinking a cup of hot cocoa. It was so cute! Sort of like the time I drank all her hairspray because there was no booze in the house. Or that other time with the rubbing alcohol. Or the Nyquil. Or the Aqua-Velva.

    Another time, I was completely out of booze, and all the stores and bars were closed, so I drove 45 minutes to find a place that would sell me some beer or something. I was kind of embarrassed, because here it was late Monday night, and I had to work the next day, and I'm driving around looking for booze. But, hey, that's just how things are when you're a "booze-oholic" like me! I finally found a huge all-night liquor store. You should have seen how I loaded up! Cases of this, fifths of that. It was 5 a.m. when I finally got home, so I just said, "To heck with work!" and had my own little improvised holiday. I called it Booze Day! I'd been working hard, getting to work on time almost every day for two weeks, so I figured I'd earned what wound up being the rest of the week off.

    Sometimes Emily and I think we should cut down a little-you know, health concerns and all. But there's always some special occasion that gives us an excuse to go off our "diets." Halloween was Emily's last big bender. We only got three trick-or-treaters the entire night, so the whole big bowl of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups went straight to her. (Or straight to her thighs, as she said!)

    My most recent bender was today. There was a good movie on TV, and I figured, hey, I'll need steady hands to change the volume. Of course, it all went straight to my liver, but what are you gonna do?

    For my birthday, Emily gave me the funniest coffee mug, perfect for Irish coffee. It has a little teddy bear on it with a "don't mess with me" look on his face, and it says, "Hand Over The Booze And Nobody Gets Hurt." I laughed so hard! That bear was just like me when I robbed the party store earlier this year! Also, the mug is really big, so it can hold a lot of booze... another plus!

    Yes, those chocoholics are a funny sort. But they won't hurt you-as long as they have their chocolate, that is. Or, in my case, booze!

    - lifted from The Onion
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:51PM (#18849749) Homepage
    The FDA is taking consumer comments until April 25.

    After which time they will toss them out and make a re$pon$ible deci$ion.
  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:56PM (#18849817)
    Dont follow this path I dont care what the US does, M&Ms were about the only edible chocolate there anyway.

    Damn you Slashdot and your chocolate stories, I now have a huge craving for a big box of Leonidas.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'd hardly call M&M's "edible". And yeah, now I have the craving for a nice big box of Leonidas. I was actually only esposed to them this last Valentine's Day, when I bought the honey a couple lbs of it. Amazing stuff; I can't stand to eat American "chocolate" anymore.
  • Well the last president redefined sex, I guess the FDA can do whatever it wants too also.

    As someone pointed out most US chocolate is inferior.

    However there are exceptions....

    Dove's dark chocolate bars are good.

    Also recently encountered this: Cowgirl Chocolate [idahogourmet.com] made with of all things cayenne pepper. Not bad chocolate but the pepper actually overloads the taste buds and after a certain point the good chocolate taste is not detectable.
  • by msblack ( 191749 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:02AM (#18849859)
    US chocolate standards are the lowest in the world. US-FDA requires dark chocolate to contain 35% cocoa solids. EU standards require over 50%. If you want quality chocolate, get a 100g bar of Valrhona.

    This is the same FDA that in spring 2006 bowed to industry pressure to change labeling requirements for carmine coloring. Look at a bottle of Listerine Citrus Burst. It has an ingredient called cochineal extract. Sounds kinda exotic like vanilla extract. FDA proposed labeling standard requiring manufacturers to say "cochineal extract (insect derived)" but food manufacturers argued that would turn off consumers so they deleted the insect derived portion. Cochineal extract is a red food coloring derived from crushing pregnant cochineal beetles. They also use it in Wonka (Nestle) Pixy Stix. This isn't for health reasons or flavor enhancement. Cochineal extract (insect derived) is used purely for aesthetic purposes. Just remember the next time you rinse with Listerine Citrus Burst that you're swishing crushed dead pregnant beetles in your mouth.

    • by CosmeticLobotamy ( 155360 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:12AM (#18849969)
      Just remember the next time you rinse with Listerine Citrus Burst that you're swishing crushed dead pregnant beetles in your mouth.

      And every time you eat beef, that comes from cows! Those cute, fat horses!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        And every time you eat beef, that comes from cows!
        The FDA will get around to changing that as soon as they can. Just wait.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's not really the FDA's fault that Americans have an indiscriminating palette. I choose chocolate based on taste, not on labeling. I could really give a flying flip on what the FDA thinks chocolate is. I know what chocolate is. I'd as soon eat shoe leather as a Hershey bar. The problem here is that government thinks that this is a problem that government needs to solve. Your tax dollars at work people, arguing about what a chocolate bar is, while our national debt spirals out of control. Why is it that as
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Idarubicin ( 579475 )

      It has an ingredient called cochineal extract. Sounds kinda exotic like vanilla extract. FDA proposed labeling standard requiring manufacturers to say "cochineal extract (insect derived)" but food manufacturers argued that would turn off consumers so they deleted the insect derived portion.

      Unless and until you argue that "vanilla extract" needs to be changed to "vanilla bean extract (plant derived)", and "chicken" needs to appear on packaging as "chicken (animal derived)", you're out of luck. "Cochineal

    • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @01:27AM (#18850587) Homepage

      The Codex Alimentarius [codexalimentarius.net], the international standards body for food, has a standard for chocolate [codexalimentarius.net]. They require >35% cocoa solids for "chocolate". And they limit other fats:

      "The addition of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter shall not exceed 5% of the finished product, after deduction of the total weight of any other added edible foodstuffs, without reducing the minimum contents of cocoa materials. Where required by the authorities having jurisdiction, the nature of the vegetable fats permitted for this purpose may be prescribed in applicable legislation.

      What are the numbers in the FDA proposal?

    • by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @01:32AM (#18850623) Homepage Journal

      Just remember the next time you rinse with Listerine Citrus Burst that you're swishing crushed dead pregnant beetles in your mouth.
      You know what's even worse... a lot of people like fruit, but don't realize fruit is basically the reproductive organs of trees. Those seeds inside are like the tree's sperm. Eating an apple is the same as chewing on a tree's balls!

      Other plants aren't quite as gross as that, but even still, they all grow in dirt. Just think about that next time you're having a salad. Would you eat food off the floor? Well, everything in that salad used to be on or in the ground, and the ground is nature's filthy floor that never gets vacuumed!
    • by donscarletti ( 569232 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @01:41AM (#18850661)
      Yes, cochineal comes from beetles, the same place it has come from and been safely consumed by humans for centuries. Would you prefer to drink some synthetic petrochemical dye with possibly some unknown properties than something that has come from a harmless animal? People are always going to dye food and Cochineal extract is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and causes extremely few allergies, why not use the stuff?
  • by SpecialAgentXXX ( 623692 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:02AM (#18849865)
    I absolutely stay away from the Big Corporate chocolate: Hershey's, Cadbery's, etc. It's all shit. High Fructose Corn Syrup and other crap in there. Ever had fine, European chocolate? The taste and texture is so much better.

    There is a healthy and damn tasteful alternative to "corporate chocolate": Scharffen Berger [scharffenberger.com] Bittersweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate. I buy the 70% and 100% Cacao bars. You can really taste the cacao beans in the 70% but it's not completely bitter. The 100% takes a bit getting used to but once you've enjoyed these high quality chocolates, the "corporate chocolate" tastes like the shit that it is. I buy these bars at Whole Foods Market [wholefoodsmarket.com].
  • by draziw ( 7737 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:09AM (#18849923) Journal
    It's really a bad quality product change if it is allowed. People that want to make/buy a chocolate substitute, can do that /now/ without calling it chocolate; They can market a chocolate flavored snack without calling it chocolate... People who really want the good stuff, shouldn't end up with 'chocolate flavored' items...

    +1 for low user id
  • FDA summary report (Score:5, Informative)

    by AhtirTano ( 638534 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:09AM (#18849925)

    There is a reason the FDA's summary is so vague---the proposal isn't about chocolate. Well, not just about chocolate. The proposal is supported by a substantial range of food manufacturer's and distributors, touching on chocolate, meat, poultry, frozen food, and more.

    The proposed changes affect divergences from standard labeling guidelines for a lot of reasons, including things like "improvements in nutritional properties", "use of safe suitable flavors and flavor enhancers", "alternate manufacturing processes", etc.

    You can read the whole thing yourself (pdf warning) here [fda.gov]. See especially the last 4 pages or so.

    Is the change in guidelines a good thing for consumers? I don't know. I don't know enough about food manufacturing to judge.

  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:09AM (#18849929)

    First they came for my fats, and I said nothing. Then they came for my carbs, and I said nothing. Then they came for my sugars, and I said nothing.


    (insert Star Spangled Banner here)

    One nation. One struggle. One destiny.

    I had a dream! A chocolatey dream!
  • by suckmysav ( 763172 ) <suckmysav@Nospam.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @12:51AM (#18850341) Journal
    "Vegetable oil" is a synonym for "heavily processed, hydrogenated oil which will kill you but makes good financial sense to the corporatised US food production industry"

    It is poisonous bloody stuff. If you want to know why America (in particular) and western nations (in general) are all suffering out of control obesity and diabetes epidemics you need to look no further than the replacement of natural oils (peanut, coconut and butter), with so-called "healthy" polyunsaturates. Countries like India uses huge amounts of butter (ghee) and coconut oil and you don't see them with rampaging blood sugar levels, heart disease and all of the other side effects of eating crap like "Crisco" and margarines.

    Ask yourself why these types of oils never spoil? If you leave margarine out of the refridgerator for a week, does it go off? Why? It doesn't go off because it is not bio-degradeable. If it is not biodegradable, then how is your body meant to metabolise it? Of course it can't, so what it does is "put it aside" and get on with the job of digesting everything else. After sufficient time of course your body will have put enough fat aside that you become fat. Fat builds up around the pancreas and voila, you've got diabetes.

    So why do we eat this crap? Because US food interests want you to. The problem for US business interests is that most natural oils such as peanut, olive and coconut/palm oil are not produced in the US. The US does produce gobs of corn and soy however, not to mention that canola rubbish. The problem is that these crops do not produce much edible oil naturally, it has to be processed out of them. Another problem is that the resulting oils are quite unstable, meaning they react to oxygen (oxidize) quickly and spoil. This is a problem for the manufacturing, distribution and retail industries however, who really like long shelf lives and cheap storage (non-refrigerated). So what the industry does is to hydrogenate their oils, which means superheating the oil and passing it through hydrogen to fuse hydrogen molecules to the receptors that would normally fuse with the oxygen. This makes for an oil that is extremely stable but an unfortunate side effect is that it also becomes virtually undigestable. Sure you can eat it and you won't turn blue and die in a week, but then the same can be said for smoking too. Remember how corporate interests insisted that smoking couldn't hurt you until only a few years ago? Well the edible oil industry is no better than those criminals. They too use bogus science and massive amounts of money to produce a steady stream of lies and bullshit regarding the health benefits of eating processed vegetable oils. This began during the thirties and over time it has worked so well that the US is now the most overweight and unhealthy nation on earth, with other western nations scrambling to follow suit.

    Now they want to stick that crap in chocolate. It's getting to the point that you wont be able to buy anything that isn't filled with this rubbish.

    Essential reading:

    The Oiling of America
    http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/oiling.ht ml [westonaprice.org]

    Other good sites;
    http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?id=73 471-trans-fat-interesterified-fat-cvd [foodnavigator-usa.com]

    http://www.thescreamonline.com/essays/essays5-1/ve goil.html [thescreamonline.com]
    http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/DiabetesDece ption.html [nexusmagazine.com]
    http://www.jctonic.com/include/healingcrisis/12Hyd rogenatedoil.htm [jctonic.com]

    • by hankwang ( 413283 ) * on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @02:18AM (#18850957) Homepage

      It doesn't go off because it is not bio-degradeable. If it is not biodegradable [...] most natural oils such as peanut, olive and coconut/palm oil are not produced in the US [...] fuse hydrogen molecules to the receptors that would normally fuse with the oxygen.

      The first statement is blatantly incorrect, the second is not relevant, and the third is clearly written by someone with no clue about chemistry. Hydrogenation has the purpose of transforming liquid oils containing unsaturated bonds, such as the peanut oil, into fats that are solid at room temperature (i.e. saturated fats). Saturated fats, which are completely natural, don't have any unsaturated bonds that can be oxidized either. A side effect of hydrogenation is that some unsaturated trans bonds are formed. How about reading a source with less bias and more scientific references? Trans fats on wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

      • Increased risk for coronary heart diseases: yes.
      • Cancer: no scientific consensus.
      • Diabetes: no scientific consensus.
      • Overweight (compared to other fats): no scientific consensus.
      No scientific consensus tends to mean that there are one or two studies that show a very small effect and other studies that don't show any effect at all. Even if such na effect exists, it is likely not significant compared to other health risks many people are taking (lack of exercise, smoking, breathing polluted air, to name a few).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by suckmysav ( 763172 )
        "The first statement is blatantly incorrect,"

        So you say, but you offer no contrary evidence.

        "the second is not relevant,"

        It most certainly is. When in doubt you should always follow the money.

        As for the third, you are right, I am not an industrial chemist. However, I'm not sure a wikipedia article is entirely credible either. As for scientific consensus, the same was said for many years in the tobacco wars. We all now know that the big money was lying through their collective teeth the entire time. I'm conf
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rm999 ( 775449 )
      "Countries like India uses huge amounts of butter (ghee) and coconut oil and you don't see them with rampaging blood sugar levels, heart disease and all of the other side effects of eating crap like "Crisco" and margarines."

      This article explains that India is actually having a huge problem with heart disease. This is partly related to the fact that more people can afford ghee and other unhealthy fats used there as India becomes more wealthy:
      http://www.expresshealthcaremgmt.com/20041215/crit icare06.shtml [expresshea...remgmt.com]
      • by suckmysav ( 763172 ) <suckmysav@Nospam.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @10:39AM (#18854995) Journal
        "This article explains that India is actually having a huge problem with heart disease"

        Yes, I'm aware of that, but I've also seen studies that put that down to the, as you correctly point out, wealthier Indians using more expensive western oils on the basis that they are supposedly healthier.

        "A study of more than one million males in India demonstrated that people in northern India consume more than seventeen times more animal fat than people in southern India. The incidence of CVD in northern India, however, is seven times lower than people in southern India. People in southern India consume much more vegetable oil than in the north."

        Malhotra, SL., "Epidemiology of ischaemic heart disease in India with special reference to causation." Br Heart J, 1967; 29(6): 895-905.

        This article is quite good too;
        http://www.bullz-eye.com/furci/2006/fats_lipid_hyp othesis.htm [bullz-eye.com]

        Here is an excerpt, the site has full references for all the assertions made;

              "Evolution of the unhealthy American

              What's decreased?

                      * Animal fat consumption has dropped over 21% since 1910. [1]
                      * Whole milk consumption has decreased 50%. [15]
                      * The consumption of butter has decreased from 18 pounds per year to 4 pounds. [1]

              What's increased?

                      * Over the past 80 years, cholesterol consumption has increased a mere 1%. [1]
                      * Vegetable oil consumption, including hydrogenated oils, has increased 437%. [15]
                      * Sugar consumption went from 5 pounds per year in 1900 to 163 pounds per year today. [16]

              If animal fats (saturated fats) are so dangerous, and vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fat) are
              so healthy, why are we so unhealthy as a nation? The scientific data of the past and present
              does not support the assertion that saturated fats cause heart disease. As a matter of fact,
              more than 20 studies have shown that people who have had a heart attack haven't eaten any
              more saturated fat than other people, and the degree of atherosclerosis at autopsy is unrelated
              to diet. [17] Saturated fats have been nourishing societies around the world for thousands of years."

        There is a lot more evidence out there if you care to look. Such as a few years back when cattle farmers tried to use the saturated fats from coconut oil to fatten up their livestock for the Japanese market, only to find that their cattle LOST weight. They eventually solved the "problem" by feedign their cattle soy oil, which is allegedly less fattening.

        Feel free to believe whatever you like, I really don't care. When Monsanto tells you that their patented seed stock is better than natural seeds I'm sure they only have your best interests at heart.
  • by Choco-man ( 256940 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @07:02AM (#18852595)
    WOW - There's a lot of misinformation floating around here! Obviously this is a topic that's near and dear to many of your hearts!

    I'm the technical director of a chocolate company. I've been making chocolate for many, many years.

    The proposal from the GMA isn't directed just at chocolate, but would include it. It essentially calls for the use of 'all safe and suitable' sweeteners and oils. Chocolate has a standard of identity, which means that the government controls the definition of chocolate. That definition can be changed (white chocolate actually didn't legally exist until a few years go, at which time a white chocolate section was added to the CFR) - however it takes many, many years to do so (white chocolate took over a decade).

    This is driven by a number of things, which include, but are not limited to:
    1) the desire to be able to legally call sugar free products sugar free chocolate, when formulated to meet the other standards
    2) the desire to harmonize global chocolate standards - most of the rest of the world allows the use of up to 5% CBE (cocoa butter equivilants - these are oils that are chemically the same as cocoa butter, but are usually - not always - more economical).

    ANY change would be required to be labelled, so no one would pull anything over on you, same as it is today. Mfr's would be able to choose to do this or not, it would not be a requirement, so it's not that all chocolate would change overnight. My take on it is that the GMA has written this petition so broadly as to be ridiculous, hoping that the FDA allows on a portion of what was asked for. It will likely take years before the FDA even acknowledges it 8-)

  • by smchris ( 464899 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2007 @08:02AM (#18852995)
    Read a book on chocolate in my cooking phase. It's a lot like coffee with less opportunity to explore bean varietals: purity, freshness, some qualities of the grind and flavorings you might find pleasant. Freshness for instance. Godiva originally commanded its price because it was the one that shipped in refrigerated cars.

    If American manufacturers want to sacrifice purity with crap ingredients, that's just something else to buy elsewhere.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.