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Is There Such A Thing As 'Pure' Chocolate? Italy Bitter Over European Ruling

Italy is in hot water with EU authorities over its insistence that chocolate be classified as “pure” or “less pure” depending on its vegetable fat content. According to the European Commission, chocolate is chocolate – and should be labeled as such.



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 Commission's 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 country's 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 Commission's 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 country's "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

Photo – Chocolate Reviews

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Why Poland's Draconian Anti-Abortion Laws May Get Even Crueler

Poland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Several parties vying in national elections on Oct. 15 are competing for conservative Catholic voters by promising new laws that could put women's lives at risk.

Photograph of a woman with her lower face covered holding a red lightning bolt - the symbol of the Women's Strike - during the demonstration outside Kaczynski's house.

November 28, 2022, Warsaw, Poland: A protester holds a red lightning bolt - the symbol of the Women's Strike - during the demonstration outside Kaczynski's house.

Attila Husejnow/ZUMA
Katarzyna Skiba


In 2020, Poland was rocked by mass protests when the country’s Constitutional Tribunal declared abortions in the case of severe fetal illness or deformity illegal. This was one of only three exceptions to Poland’s ban on abortions, which now only applies in cases of sexual assault or when the life of the mother is at risk.

Since the 2020 ruling, several women have filed complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after giving birth to children with severe fetal abnormalities, many of whom do not survive long after birth. One woman working at John Paul II hospital in the Southern Polish town of Nowy Targ told Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that a patient was forced to give birth to a child suffering from acrania a lethal disorder where infants are born without a skull.

However, even in cases where abortion is technically legal, hospitals and medical professionals in Poland still often refuse to perform the procedure, citing moral objections.

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