Posted March 30, 2016

Toxins in Chocolate

On March 23, 2016, As You Sow, a consumer health watchdog group based in California, released results showing that 35 of 50 chocolate products it tested, including chocolate bunnies and eggs, expose consumers to lead and cadmium above levels set by California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act and fail to provide consumer warnings about these heavy metals as reproductive toxins, as legally required in California. 

As You Sow has filed legal notices against chocolate manufacturers, including Trader Joe's, Hershey's, Green and Black's, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See's Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics, and more, for failure to warn of lead and/or cadmium in their chocolate products. The general results are posted at www.asyousow.org/chocolate -- results by product appear at the bottom of that page, although the specific amounts of lead and cadmium in each product have not been published by As You Sow due to the pending legal action.

As You Sow's testing focused primarily on chocolates. Several of these chocolates are among the products previously tested by ConsumerLab.com in 2014 as part of its Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements Review (see the Update at the top of the review for further discussion).

In a related article "Science Wants Us to Limit Our Chocolate Addiction to One Small Serving a Day" (March 28, 2016) in FoodandWine.com, ConsumerLab.com's President, Tod Cooperman, M.D., commented, "I would advise people, especially children, to limit cocoa powder intake to not more than one cup of cocoa per day for an adult and not more than twice a week for children. The same holds true for servings of chocolates high in heavy metals."  

A news release from As You Sow regarding its findings is available using the link below.