In Italy, some are calling it "Eurocioccolato-gate." The European Court of Justice has ruled against Italy for not banning the denomination pure chocolate from its cocoa-based products.
The European Commission had ruled eight years ago that there is no difference between so-called pure chocolate, which uses only cocoa butter, and less pure forms of chocolate that mix in a bit of vegetable fat. Provided the vegetable fat content is 5% or less, less pure chocolate as the Italians call it is just as worthy of being called chocolate as pure chocolate, the Commission decided.
Both varieties, therefore, should just be called chocolate no qualifying adjective needed.
Italy, however, refused to heed the European Commissions directive. Stubbornly, it continued labeling its chocolate as pure and less pure. Under pressure from the European Union, Italian authorities promises last June that within a month they would finally do away with the law that mandates the countrys nit-picky chocolate distinctions. But that never happen. Determined not to give in on the escalating chocolate war, authorities in Brussels filed suit against Italy in the European Court of Justice. The Court found Italy in violation of the European Commissions original 2003 chocolate law. Until Italy stops distinguishing between the two types of chocolate, it will now have to pay a daily fine.
For Italian chocolate producers, the ruling is an outrage. COLDIRETTI, and Italian farmers association, called it a threat to the countrys Made in Italy brand to be so loose with the labels. The association has already fought similar battles over "milk-less cheese" and "grape-less wine."
Read the original article in Italian
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