• Switzerland's news in English
 
Anger as US inspectors target Swiss chocolate
Photo: Bigbirdz

Anger as US inspectors target Swiss chocolate

Published: 07 Sep 2012 11:08 GMT+02:00

Because of the importance of the US market, chocolate manufacturers in Switzerland are submitting to Uncle Sam’s intrusion in their factories but they are not happy about it.

“The fact that a foreign authority is involved in our Swiss businesses is unseemly,” Daniel Bloch, of Chocolats Camille Bloch, told Handelszeitung, the German-language business journal.

The newspaper has discovered that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to inspect 21 chocolate factories and 18 dairies in Switzerland.

The move is part of the implementation of America’s Food Safety Modernization Act, new legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama last year that aims, among other things, to combat bioterrorism.

The FDA contends that imported food could be contaminated chemically or even in a radioactive way.

Handelszeitung said Swiss chocolate makers are astonished to be subjected to such screening from a foreign country.

“The companies will let the inspections go through because they want to continue to sell to the US,” Franz Schmid, director of the industry association Chocosuisse told the newspaper.
   
But the planned inspections appear to go well beyond health issues to include such details as sales, ownership, employees and the size of company buildings.

“We ask ourselves, what is the real reason for the FDA inspections,” Jacques Gygax, director of the Swiss dairy association Fromarte, told Handelszeitung.

Gygax fears the Americans may be looking for technical barriers to trade and imports.    

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

2012-09-07 17:17:08 by tadchem
The Swiss are justified in suspecting the American authorites of hidden motives. In recent years US agencies have been flexing their enforcement powers frequently, sometimes beyond the range of their legal authorization. The US Food and Drug agency has no right or power to inspect overseas sites. They can only prohibit imports, and then only whan a real threat has been demonstrated. These enforcement actions are often reminiscent of those taken by authoritarian governments of the early 20th century in their disregard of law and of the rights of people.
2012-09-10 12:18:28 by HoppSuisse
If you would like to be informed about what is happening see this video about Monsanto Corporation and GMO:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhHbm_Z_pW8

In brief the GMO plants are cross pollinating with local plants so that the new plants are dependent upon Monsantos fertilizer and herbicide/insecticide.
Some South American countries are already 70% locked into Monsantos control of agriculture with no way back.

We gave up our sovereign rights when we allowed the politicians to approve UBS giving private data to the US. And in the last election we voted to give up our vote on foreign treaties.

Now we only have one wild card left to play. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is located in Basel. This is the bank that the Worlds Central Banks use. The BIS is a country like the Vatican with its own army and Swiss law does not apply to it.

HoppSuisse
2012-09-11 02:27:16 by stablemate77
swiss and belguim have best chocolate
2012-09-13 07:35:18 by Meppin
The US has declared economic war on Switzerland. The US is VERY vulnerable given its debt load and the role of the US Dollar. If the US persists in this war on Switzerland, the Swiss Government should announce that all Swiss financial institutions will be prohibited from purchasing ANY US dollar denominated securities, and current portfolios will be "liquidation only" for US dollar assets. Also the SNB will no longer hold any US dollar holdings and be selling it all. This will mark the end of the US Dollar as the global reserve currency and the end of this constant bullying by the most hypocritical regime in the modern era.
2012-09-19 19:22:25 by beeker
The FDA can't keep the domestic u.s. produced food supply safe, so now they are trolling for bad guys in overseas factories? They need to get real. Check out some of the U.S. slaughter houses that produce tainted hamburger and hotdogs then take a junket to switzerland to taste chocolate.
2012-09-26 05:04:35 by NYAnalyst
"The US is VERY vulnerable given its debt load and the role of the US Dollar. If the US persists in this war on Switzerland, the Swiss Government should announce that all Swiss financial institutions will be prohibited from purchasing ANY US dollar denominated securities, and current portfolios will be "liquidation only" for US dollar assets. Also the SNB will no longer hold any US dollar holdings and be selling it all. This will mark the end of the US Dollar as the global reserve currency and the end of this constant bullying by the most hypocritical regime in the modern era." In your dreams.
Today's headlines
Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud
Pierre Condamin-Gerbier. Photo: AFP

Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud

A man who acknowledged lying when he served as a key witness in a major French tax fraud investigation was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term in the Swiss canton of Ticino on Friday. READ  

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope
Photo: David Geisser

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope

Although better known today for their colourful uniforms than their centuries-old reputation as fearless warriors, the Swiss Guards remain a powerful symbol of the Vatican. The Local speaks to David Geisser, one of the latest recruits, about a career protecting popes.
 READ  

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink
Photo: Axpo

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink

Swiss utility company Axpo said on Friday that eroding wholesale prices for electricity have forced it to write down 1.5 billion francs on the value of its power plants and energy supply contracts. READ  

Banks vow negative rates won't be passed on
Photo: Yoshiko Kusano/Photopress

Banks vow negative rates won't be passed on

Major banks in Switzerland say they have no intention of charging small savers negative interest rates in the wake of the Swiss National Bank’s decision this week to charge such rates to financial institutions. READ  

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison
Photo: AFP

Suspected stabber Nabilla freed from prison

Swiss model and French reality TV star Nabilla Benattia left a women’s prison in Versailles, France on Thursday on conditional release while facing charges of attempted murder after stabbing her boyfriend. READ  

Swiss school grad 'hero' among café siege victims
Photo: César Ritz Colleges/Facebook

Swiss school grad 'hero' among café siege victims

César Ritz Colleges, a Swiss hotel management school group, issued a tribute on its Facebook page to a former graduate who died while trying to end this week’s café hostage-taking incident in Sydney, Australia that left three people dead and five people injured. READ  

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth
What, me worry? Swiss economy seen as continuing to defy trend in eurozone. Photo: Credit Suisse

Forecast cuts 2015 Swiss economic growth

The Swiss federal government's experts' group says Switzerland's economic prospects remain favourable in a "risky environment" although it cut its growth forecast for 2015. READ  

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

French businessman plans takeover of Orange

Apax Funds has announced it is selling Orange Switzerland, the country’s third largest mobile operator, to NJJ Capital, a holding company owned by French businessman Xavier Niel for 2.8 billion francs. READ  

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business
Zurich, Switzerland's biggest centre for business. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Switzerland cracks top ten list for business

Switzerland ranks among the top ten best countries in the world to do business, according to Forbes magazine’s list for 2014. READ  

Central bank imposes negative interest rates
Photo: Michael Faes

Central bank imposes negative interest rates

With fresh turmoil in foreign exchange markets putting upward pressure on the franc, the Swiss National Bank announced on Thursday the introduction of negative interest rates. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
The Local's top ten snow sport alternatives to skiing in Switzerland
International
Swiss chocolate café at centre of hostage-taking drama Down Under
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Features
Exploring the 'most beautiful village' in French-speaking Switzerland
Business & Money
Italian thieves steal 260 tons of Swiss Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate
National
World's longest train tunnel — under the Swiss Alps — set to open in 2016
National
Switzerland's Christmas market season gets into full swing
National
Porn film on video screen spices up fare at Swiss McDonald's restaurant
National
Masturbation scene in Swiss TV ad for Media Markt draws complaints
National
Cantonal lawmakers end 'happy hours' tippling in Vaud pubs and bars
Politics
Former concert pianist Sommaruga elected as next Swiss president
Culture
Jailed German art forger's paintings go on sale at Bern gallery
Business & Money
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad's family listed as Switzerland's richest
Features
Long-time expats face dilemma: to be or not to be a Swiss citizen
National
Switzerland's voters massively reject strict immigration limits
Business & Money
Pieces of Napoleon's auctioned hair to be put in Geneva luxury watches
National
Activists petition federal government for ban on eating cats and dogs
National
Swiss meat firm faces scandal over alleged false labelling of products
Sport
Federer victory gives Switzerland its first Davis Cup tennis title
Business & Money
Italy's PM upset over Swiss mogul's acquittal in asbestos deaths
Business & Money
University of Zurich study finds 'banker's oath' could spur honesty
Sponsored Article
Exclusive offer: Try out home exchange
National
Swiss National Bank chief calls proposal to boost gold reserves 'fatal'
National
Mudslides kill four people in Ticino and neighbouring Italy
Culture
British X Factor star seeks internet support for Swiss Eurovision place
National
Court overturns ban by backing right for schoolgirl to wear scarf
National
Swiss ranking for English skills worsens among non-Anglo countries
Culture
Swiss model and French TV star Nabilla held for 'attempted murder'
Travel
Switzerland's Zermatt voted best ski resort in the Alps by skiers
Sport
VIDEO: FC Zurich claims crime after 'vicious' tackle hospitalizes player
Tech
Federal government announces new '.swiss' internet domain name
National
Zany emergency: Basel firefighters rescue ass stuck in manhole
Business & Money
American jury clears former UBS top executive of tax fraud
International
Switzerland ranks second to Norway in global 'prosperity' index
National
Financial regulator bans former Coop Bank CEO for three years
International
Switzerland slips in World Economic Forum's gender equality rankings
National
Job candidates unhappy with hiring process in Switzerland
National
Glacier 3000 opens new foot bridge spanning two mountains in Vaud
National
Swiss seek special Unesco heritage listing for yodelling and watchmaking
International
Switzerland regarded as best place in world for expats: global survey
National
Red faces at Migros over Hitler and Mussolini coffee cream pots
National
Quarter of workers in Switzerland 'stressed out': new survey
Travel
Lonely Planet ranks Zermatt among top places to visit in 2015
Features
Eritrean asylum seekers find refuge in Swiss monastery town
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,078
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply