Nonprofit group Consumer Reports recently released findings from its testing of popular brands of dark chocolate and found that four brands including Tony’s, Lindt, Chocolove, Hershey’s and Hu were found to have high levels of lead.
Lindt, Dove, and Beyond Good products were found to have high levels of cadmium while Trader Joe’s whose brand hinges on organic and healthy products, was found to be high on both lead and cadmium.
Exposure to lead can eventually cause cognitive impairment while cadmium is linked to cancer, kidney disease and bone degeneration.
There is currently no law in the US that regulates cadmium content in chocolates.
Last August, the National Confectioners Association conducted a joint study with As You Sow on the reduction of lead and cadmium content when they were asked for a comment by the Insider.
“NCA and its members in the chocolate industry welcome the report resulting from the expert committee investigation they funded through a prior California Proposition 65 settlement with As You Sow. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to implement feasible measures that assure product quality and safety so that consumers can continue to enjoy chocolate as a delicious treat,” they said.
“Food safety and product quality are the chocolate industry’s highest priorities and National Confectioners Association member companies remain dedicated to upholding high standards and striving for continuous improvement in this regard.
Based on their findings, the experts have identified and prioritized a list of recommended cadmium and lead reduction measures for the industry to consider implementing. Significant lead reductions can be expected within the first year of implementing new handling practices. Cadmium reductions beyond those achieved through blending and potential changes in farming practices, including soil treatment and planting new tree stock, will take longer. Industry members plan to continue to work with As You Sow, cocoa farmers, scientists, and their own quality teams to further reduce cadmium and lead levels in chocolate products as feasible,” the statement said.