Get caught smuggling Italian chocolate eggs into the United States and you’ll face a fine of $2500 per egg. That’s right, $2500 per piece of chocolate.
Kinder Surprise Eggs are an inexpensive and fun treat popular worldwide, originally created in Italy. They are eggs made of chocolate with a small toy inside, tucked inside a plastic capsule, as you can see in this picture:
Kinder eggs are illegal in the United States because they are prohibited under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This act bans any food products with non-edible objects inside them because they are considered a choking hazard by the US government. Every single Kinder egg is marked with a label that warns they should not be given to children under 3, like any other product with small parts, but apparently that is not enough. The federal government doesn’t trust us to eat chocolate eggs responsibly, and border guards confiscated sixty thousand Kinder eggs in 2011 from chocolate smugglers. Last summer two men were detained for hours at the Canadian border because border guards found Kinder eggs in their car.
It’s a little absurd that we spend our scarce border enforcement resources confiscating chocolate. A group of citizens have decided to make that change. They’ve created a We the People petition at the White House website to legalize the Kinder egg. So far they have about 3,500 signatures. If we can get 25,000 signatures by January 25, President Obama will have to respond and might put an end to this nonsense. So go and sign the petition, and help us all reclaim the freedom to choose our own chocolate.