The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering redefining 'chocolate' to allow substitution with less expensive and lower quality ingredients.

The purpose of Don't Mess with Our Chocolate web site forum is to provide information regarding how to get involved in saving the real chocolate that we all love and enjoy. Through the years, consumers have had a passionate love affair with chocolate. Chocolate is an indulgence that everyone can afford, and it provides comfort, pleasure and happiness. It truly is one of the worlds most unique and special foods.

However, if some members of the U.S. Chocolate Industry have their way, it will negatively change the quality of chocolate you love. Their plan is to change the basic formula of chocolate in order to use vegetable fat substitutes in place of cocoa butter, and to use milk substitutes in the place of nutritionally superior milk. These changes will have adverse effects on the eating, physical and nutritional quality of chocolate, and beg the question: What consumer benefit is associated with implementing these changes? The answer is: none.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a chocolate standard of identity requiring manufacturers to use approved ingredients in making chocolate, and it protects the consumer from any substitution of inferior ingredients. As a result, the Chocolate Industry must obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration to make any changes.

The U.S. Chocolate Industry, through its Chocolate Manufacturers of America (CMA), and in collaboration with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, have petitioned the Food and Drug Association (FDA) to change the current requirements for chocolate.

To date, the FDA has only heard from the chocolate industry. But, the FDA absolutely must hear from those consumers who love the current gold standard of chocolate so that the FDA can have a more balanced viewpoint. If the Chocolate Manufacturer's Association succeeds with their agenda, the consumer will inherit what is most lucrative for them to produce rather than the high quality product we all currently enjoy and desire.

Please communicate your dissatisfaction regarding the cheapening the quality of real chocolate to the FDA by going to the "How to Help" tab on this site. Your opinion is important and needs to be heard along with the collective outrage from other consumers. We hope this effort will have a favorable impact on the FDA's decision-making process and will cause it to reject the industry's proposal.

Please email this website and information to as many people as possible so that our voices can be heard. Thank you for your support!

Guittard Chocolate Company