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In some nations, including Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom, some popular chocolate products contain a proportion of vegetable fat (normally up to 5%). Elsewhere, such fats are not used, and in some areas (principally Spain and Italy) laws prohibited other fats from being used in chocolate products. In particular, the laws of some European Union members required the use of only cocoa butter. Chocolate manufacturers and others in those nations campaigned vigorously to maintain (and indeed extend) such prohibitions against "substandard" chocolate products of other nations, especially the UK.
One facet of that campaign was that of claiming that chocolate that used any vegetable fat was not true chocolate and should not be permitted to use the unqualified name "chocolate". A variety of alternative names were proposed, but the French suggestion of "vegelate" was the most popular. Despite many stories in the British press, the word was never officially used by the EU nor was its mandatory use ever seriously considered.
The word has also been (rarely) used outside of the EC debate as a pejorative name for cheap chocolate.
In the United States, confections cannot be labeled as chocolate if they contain vegetable fats 21 CFR 163.130 and others. When vegetable fats are present the item must be labeled as chocolate flavored candy.
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