I've had a problem with the FDA for many years, and those of you who've been reading me for a while know this. Yesterday, on our Daring Bakers group list, there was a call to action linked to a post on Candyblog with all the information and several resources. So this morning, before reading the Candyblog post, I went directly to the FDA site to comment and found not a proposed amendment to inviolate the requisite chocolate labeling standard, but this:
Docket: 2007P-0085 - Adopt Regulations of General Applicability to all Food Standards that would Permit, within Stated Boundaries, Deviations from the Requirements of the Individual Food Standards of Identity
OK folks - this is serious. Yes, you read it right, the FDA wants to relax ALL standards. Let me paraphrase this for you:
Hey, manufacturers! Go ahead and put whatever you want into the food you make. We got the FDA to look the other way. So now you won't have to put any of those messy details like "irradiated" or "hormone and antibiotic laced" or "steeped in pesticide" on the label. Whoo Hoo for you! You all can save some money on ingredients just like you wanted. And, hey, don't forget to contribute to our campaigns like you promised!
Your Congressmen, Senators and the Lobbyists who feed
If this is amendment to the standards is passed, Big Food and Candy can put pretty much anything they want into what you eat and not put it on a the label.
There is no reason to deviate from accepted standards unless the FDA is seeking to relax them, which of course is what this is all about. While this may prove beneficial to the corporations lobbying for this change, it is neither beneficial nor safe, for the humans who will eat these foods. We have a right to decide what we eat, and by relaxing these regulations and allowing foods to be labeled without critical information, they are curtailing our right to make these choices.
I won't go into all the horror stories and believe me they are legion, The Organic Standards have been under attack by Big Food and it's puppet, the FDA, for some time now. Suffice it to say that you need to watch them because believe me - they are NOT watching out for you. Unless you happen to be Archer Daniels Midland of course.
To that end, please go here today, and register your comment! Our voices DO help!
And just FYI, you might want to check out these groups:
Organic Consumers Association - More than just Organic, they're a great watchdog group.
Environmental Working Group - Public Interest watchdog. Oh and you can find out what's in your cosmetics, shampoo and other personal preparations too, if you dare. But don't say I didn't warn you - it's scary stuff.
Public Citizen - Founded by Ralph Nader