Health Alert: Lead and Cadmium Could Be in Your Dark Chocolate

Consumer Reports found dangerous heavy metals in chocolate from Hershey’s, Theo, Trader Joe’s and other popular brands. Here are the ones that had the most, and some that are safer.

Photo Illustration: Melissa Paterno Plonchak/Consumer Reports, Getty Images

For many of us, chocolate is more than just a tasty treat. It’s a mood lifter, an energy booster, a reward after a tough day, a favorite holiday gift. 

People also choose dark chocolate in particular for its potential health benefits, thanks to studies that suggest its rich supply of antioxidants may improve heart health and other conditions, and for its relatively low levels of sugar. In fact, more than half of people in a recent survey from the National Confectioners Association described dark chocolate as a “better for you” candy.

But there’s a dark side to this “healthier” chocolate. Research has found that some dark chocolate bars contain cadmium and lead—two heavy metals linked to a host of health problems in children and adults. 

The chocolate industry has been grappling with ways to lower those levels. To see how much of a risk these favorite treats pose, Consumer Reports scientists recently measured the amount of heavy metals in 28 dark chocolate bars. They detected cadmium and lead in all of them.

Heavy Metals in Dark Chocolate

CR tested a mix of brands, including smaller ones, such as Alter Eco and Mast, and more familiar ones, like Dove and Ghirardelli. 

For 23 of the bars, eating just an ounce a day would put an adult over a level that public health authorities and CR’s experts say may be harmful for at least one of those heavy metals. Five of the bars were above those levels for both cadmium and lead.

That’s risky stuff: Consistent, long-term exposure to even small amounts of heavy metals can lead to a variety of health problems. The danger is greatest for pregnant women and young children because the metals can cause developmental problems, affect brain development, and lead to lower IQ, says Tunde Akinleye, the CR food safety researcher who led this testing project. 

CR’s Chocolate Test Results

Safer Choices

Mast

Organic Dark Chocolate
80% Cocoa

LEAD

14%

CADMIUM

40%

Taza Chocolate

Organic Deliciously Dark Chocolate
70% Cacao

LEAD

33%

CADMIUM

74%

Ghirardelli

Intense Dark Chocolate
86% Cacao

LEAD

36%

CADMIUM

39%

Ghirardelli

Intense Dark Chocolate Twilight Delight
72% Cacao

LEAD

61%

CADMIUM

96%

Valrhona

Abinao Dark Chocolate
85% Cacao

LEAD

63%

CADMIUM

73%

High in Both Lead & Cadmium

Theo

Organic Pure Dark
70% Cocoa

LEAD

120%

CADMIUM

142%

Trader Joe’s

The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate
85% Cacao

LEAD

127%

CADMIUM

229%

Theo

Organic Extra Dark Pure Dark Chocolate
85% Cocoa

LEAD

140%

CADMIUM

189%

Lily’s

Extremely Dark Chocolate
85% Cocoa

LEAD

143%

CADMIUM

101%

Green & Black’s

Organic Dark Chocolate
70% Cacao

LEAD

143%

CADMIUM

181%

Better Ways to Eat Dark Chocolate

Choose dark chocolates with the lowest levels of heavy metals

Treat chocolate as a treat

Try dark chocolates with lower cacao percentages

Alternate with milk chocolate

Don’t assume organic dark chocolates are safer

Don’t give kids much dark chocolate

Read the complete article at the link below.

Source: Lead and Cadmium Could Be in Your Dark Chocolate – Consumer Reports

Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. Learning will also nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this website and visit often so you keep learning and growing too!

%d bloggers like this: