There Could Be Lead in Your Chocolate

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Yes. You heard us righ.

You might expect to see cocoa, sugar, cream, and even soy in your chocolate…but lead?!

Heavy metals, such as LEAD are being discovered in all kinds of chocolate, even organic chocolate! WTF? Green Diva Lynn does a sad and scary GD myEARTH360 report for those of us addicted to chocolate. Listen then read on for an informative article from As You So. ~ Ed.


Article by As You Sow

Responding to published research showing high levels of heavy metals in commonly eaten food items, As You Sow began extensive independent laboratory testing of 42 chocolate products for lead and cadmium. We found that 26 of the chocolate products (~62 percent) contain lead and/or cadmium at levels in which one serving exceeds the California safe harbor level for reproductive harm.

As You Sow filed notices with 16 manufacturers, including See’s, Mars, Hershey, Lindt, Godiva, Whole Foods, and others, for failing to provide required warnings to consumers that their chocolate products contain lead, cadmium, or both.

See the products we tested in the tables below.

No level of lead is safe for children.child chocolate

Lead exposure has been a significant public health issue for decades and is associated with neurological impairment, such as learning disabilities and lower IQ, even at low levels. “No amount of lead ingestion is ‘safe’ for children,” states Sean Palfrey, MD, a pediatrician and professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine. “Pregnant women and young children with developing brains in particular should avoid any ingestion of lead.”

Cadmium is also known to cause reproductive harm.

Chronic exposure to cadmium has been to kidney, liver, and bone damage in humans. Children are more susceptible to exposure effects from low doses of cadmium over time. Companies are not doing enough to keep their products safe and below California’s safe harbor level for reproductive harm for these toxic heavy metals.

California law ensures consumers receive warnings before they are harmed.

To protect consumers, companies should take immediate steps to remove these toxic heavy metals from their products or, at a minimum, to warn according to the California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. If the heavy metals are not removed, people need to be informed so they can protect themselves and their families.

Consumers’ input is important to food manufacturers and we, as consumers, should make companies aware that we take this issue seriously. Investors should also consider potential risk if they own shares of these companies. Read our press release here.

chocolate companies warnings

chocolate companies safe

NOTE: The chocolate products labeled “No Warning Required” either contain no detectable lead and/or cadmium levels, or levels below California’s safe harbor level for reproductive harm. (Maximum Allowable Dose Level (Safe Harbor level set for reproductive harm) for lead is 0.5 ug/day and cadmium is 4.1 ug/day.)

Editor’s Note:

Green Diva Meg and I wanted to know how in the world lead and cadmium end up in chocolate, even when it’s organic.

Eleanne van Vliet, MPH, Director of Toxic Chemicals Research at As You Sow provided an answer…(click on page 2)

Conscious Consumer, Conscious Parenting, GD Ticker, Great Green Products, Green Divas Foodie-Philes, Green Divas Radio Show, GreenDivas myEARTH360 report, Healthy Living, Natural Health, Popular (100 or more views), sustainability

About the author / 

The Green Divas

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources, the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter too!

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    piterson March 18, 2015 at 4:22 am -  Reply

    Lead could be a serious metal that’s toxic at terribly low exposure levels and has acute and chronic effects on human health and causes neurological, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, haematological and reproductive effects. So, be aware of lead in a chocolate product.

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