For those who don’t spend their days perusing through the proposed regulations at the FDA website, the word is suddenly out, and unfortunately at last minute, that the FDA is considering a regulation that will allow manufacturers of “common products” to substitute cheap ingredients for more expensive ones if they think that consumers won’t notice. The uproar comes from the chocoholic community, as some of the prime pushers behind this regulation are apparently the folks at Hershey and Nestle, who want to be able to substitute low grade (and trans-fat laden) vegetable oils for cocoa butter, and call the product chocolate, instead of, as now, “chocolate flavored”. A good writeup on what’s proposed is Like Oil for Chocolate, available at Eating Liberally. The unfortunate thing is that today is the last day the FDA is taking comments on the issue on their site, which truly conveniently, is organized so that the expiring comment date is sorted in reverse order, i.e., anything expiring today is on the last page of proposed regulations, which means paging through a dozen pages to find it…. so, to make it quicker – go here. The original poster on the blog referenced above gives a link to a walk-through guide, which, unfortunately, comes up as a blank white page when I try it – maybe the chocolate manufacturers got it shut down? Just to propose a conspiracy theory for the heck of it. Non-U.S. based folks or citizens can comment too, as “International Visitors”.