Not since Adam and Eve ate apples has the world been in such a fuss over food . . . The French yelled ''Non!'' to imports of British beef, claiming it's not free of taint.

The British, meanwhile, were looking down their noses over news that French farmers used sewage in cattle feed.

Europe has been tut-tutting over genetically modified food from the United States.

And then there's the biggest food fight of all, the battle at this month's World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle over whether to fully open global agricultural markets.

Alas, while we hope that diplomacy and science will solve these matters, let us not overlook a food issue closer to everyone's palate - the question of defining exactly what is chocolate.

The European Union ruled (recently) that vegetable fats other than cocoa butter could be used to make chocolate. For purist chocolate-makers and cocoa-producing countries, such ''diluted'' confection is fake chocolate.

We heartily agree. It's time to banish the fake stuff from the garden of chocolate Eden.


As the world mourns the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990, the tragedy is a reminder of the need for constant diligence to ensure air safety.

The fatal crash occurred soon after news that the Boeing company sat on for years a report that might improve safety. That shouldn't be allowed to happen again.

Some 217 people died in Sunday's inexplicable crash of a Boeing 767 jet. Just a day before, The Washington Post reported that Boeing didn't provide all the information needed to investigators of the similarly sudden fatal plunge of TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747, in 1996. It killed 230 people.

For 16 years Boeing sat on its report about how heat builds up and creates explosive vapors in the center fuel tank of the military version of the 747. That's unconscionable.

Boeing officials acknowledge that the report should have been turned over to safety board investigators, but they insist it wasn't ''directly'' related to the TWA 800 investigation.

That's an assessment for the board to make, not the company. In fact, safety board investigators say the report would have been ''very helpful.''