Petition to United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Patricia Hansen
Dark Chocolate Food Labeling: Tell the FDA to Stop the Deception!
The FDA has not set a standard of identity for dark chocolate even though there are FDA standards for milk chocolate and white chocolate. Consumers are being deceived into thinking they are eating healthy dark chocolate, while actually consuming fake chocolate made from vegetable fats (usually palm oil). Without a standard of identity, companies are more apt to mislabel a product ‘dark chocolate’ on the front of a package without using real dark chocolate ingredients! By law, if vegetable fat coatings are used, the ingredients list must state “chocolaty” or “chocolate flavored coating and vegetable oil.” That is the only way you would know it is not REAL dark chocolate. Sometimes the listing will illegally state “dark chocolate coating.” If the ingredients include alternative vegetable fats (palm oil, palm kernel oil, cottonseed oil, etc.), then it is not real dark chocolate. Why would consumers knowingly choose unhealthy fake chocolate coated snacks when there are many proven health benefits from eating REAL dark chocolate? 1. REAL dark chocolate has health benefits. Dark chocolate is loaded with flavonoids and has many health benefits. Research studies have found that dark chocolate may have a positive impact on memory, brain performance, heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke risk, mood, stress, and longevity. It may also boost workouts and reduce food cravings. When companies use palm oil in place of cocoa butter, the substitution may have a negative impact on the health of a consumer since palm oil has been shown to raise bad cholesterol (LDL). Cocoa butter has been shown to be a neutral fat that does not raise LDL cholesterol. Many consumers eat dark chocolate for enjoyment and the antioxidant benefits it provides. The benefit of added antioxidants is eliminated when cholesterol raising fats, like palm oil, counterbalance the antioxidants benefit in the cocoa. 2. REAL dark chocolate tastes better. The three components of REAL dark chocolate are cocoa powder (non-fat solids) and cocoa butter from the cacao bean with a small amount of real sugar to cut the bitterness. Cocoa butter melts below body temperature, releasing the flavor immediately in your mouth. When fake chocolate is used, cocoa butter is replaced with a vegetable fat (usually palm oil), imparting a waxy texture and too sweet taste because the chocolate does not melt in your mouth. 3. Companies are valuing their bottom line, not their ingredients! Vegetable fats are cheaper ingredients. They do not need to be shipped or stored with strict temperature controls, so companies save on the cost of shipping and storing real dark chocolate. Others lack technical expertise to produce REAL dark chocolate. 4. Consumers deserve to get what they pay for! Many are paying for what they believe is REAL dark chocolate and instead being sold a fake dark chocolate substitution. NuGo Nutrition, the company that makes REAL dark chocolate coated protein bars for many lifestyles, urges the FDA to create a standard of identity for dark chocolate. Consumers deserve to know what is in their food!
Petition to Kevin Tsukihara
Tell Warner Bros. to Ensure Harry Potter Chocolates are Slavery Free
A campanha abaixo foi criada por uma organização internacional e está em inglês. Mas achamos que você gostaria de assiná-la. In the cocoa fields of the Ivory Coast, child slavery is ‘normal.’ It’s routine. It’s accepted. Children as young as 7 are sold – deprived of their childhood, ripped from their families, and subjected to routine abuse – to work long, backbreaking days picking cocoa. And it all stems from our love of chocolate. While many chocolate brands have made public commitments to find the best solution, Warner Bros. is lagging behind: 1. An independent investigation into their supplier Behr’s Chocolates led to a failing score of 1 out of 48 possible measures to ensure their operations are slavery-free; 2. Warner Bros. dismissed the findings of the investigation, simply stating that they were ‘satisfied’ that fair labour practices were being used in the production of their chocolates; 3. Given the conflicting information, outraged consumers asked Warner Bros. what steps were taken to ensure there was no slavery in Harry Potter Chocolates. Warner Bros. refused to respond. As we head into one of the busiest times of the year for Warner Bros. theme parks. Children excited to experience the world of Harry Potter will be asking their parents to buy these chocolates. That’s why taking a stand right now will make a big impact. Ask Warner Bros. what steps they’re taking to ensure Harry Potter chocolates are slavery-free.
Petition to Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts: Switch to Fair Trade Chocolate In Your Thin Mint Cookies
Girl Scouts are doing wonderful and incredible things for girls all over the world. But in order to keep their promise to offer "every girl a chance to do something amazing," they must do one more thing. It is a way for Girl Scouts to make an even greater impact on the world, to give many more girls the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. The Girl Scouts can give hope to thousands more girls, by doing just this one thing. The Girl Scouts must switch their chocolate to fair trade chocolate. It’s that simple! The chocolate that the Girl Scouts are currently using for their Thin Mint cookies is sourced from farms that utilize child slaves and laborers to harvest cocoa beans. Many of these slaves are young girls, ages ten to twelve. Fair trade chocolate ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in innovative agricultural techniques, and strictly prohibits slave and child labor. While fair trade chocolate is slightly more expensive, that money is going to certified African farmers, rather than enabling child labor and slavery. Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of Girl Scouts, has said, “Here’s what I’m about: I want to get more girls, more families into the Girl Scout Movement so that we can change their lives- their destinies- forever. Let’s start now!” By making this change from traditional chocolate to fair trade chocolate, the Girl Scouts can live up to their CEO's words and can indeed change the lives and destinies of fellow girls in other parts of the world. Girl Scouting builds a girl's courage, confidence, and character- something that is being stripped from those child laborers forced to harvest cocoa instead of go to school. By switching to fair trade chocolate, the Girl Scouts can help rebuild communities in Africa and set an example of being considerate, caring, honest, fair, and courageous. “Truly, ours is a circle of friendships, united by our ideals,” said Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts. She believed that, together, girls can change the world. Around the world, there are 1.9 million Girl Scouts, all of whom are capable of great things. Switching their famous Thin Mint cookies to fair trade chocolate would not only change millions more lives, but it would draw more attention to this issue and perhaps bring pressure to bigger chocolate companies who are also guilty of this practice. Fair Trade chocolate is worth the extra investment in chocolate and quality of life. By making this change, Girl Scouts would no longer be funding the promotion of child labor for cocoa beans in Africa. If the Girl Scouts Association switches their Thin Mint cookies to fair trade chocolate, then we can make the world a better place for our African sisters. By making this change, the Girl Scouts would be living up to their purpose and motto. -Written by Samantha Perez, age 14, of Eastside High School in Lancaster, CA