Monday, 31 July 2017

Toxic chocolate

If you have a sweet tooth, you may have read studies talking about the health benefits associated with eating moderate amounts of chocolate. But our research has found a potential health risk in popular chocolate products that’s been flying under the radar – some chocolate contains toxic metals like lead and cadmium.

As You Sow has conducted independent laboratory testing of 70 chocolate products for lead and cadmium. We found that 45 of the 70 chocolate products contain lead and/or cadmium above the safe harbor threshold of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). Based on these results, we have filed notices with 18 manufacturers, including Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s, Mondel─ôz, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See’s Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange,  Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics, and more, for failing to provide the legally required warning to consumers that the products contain cadmium or lead, or both.

No level of lead is safe for children. Lead exposure has been a significant public health issue for decades. Lead is linked to a variety of neurological impairments, including learning disabilities, seizures, and a lower IQ. Developing fetuses and children are especially vulnerable to lead exposure because their brains are in critical growth and development stages.

“As underscored by the Flint disaster, humans have contaminated our environment with lead, and now we must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our children, who are the most vulnerable of us, from every possible exposure,” said Sean Palfrey, MD,  a pediatrician and Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University School of Medicine. “Young children and pregnant women especially should avoid exposure to lead.”


Cadmium can cause damage to the kidney, liver, and bones, while also impairing neurobehavioral development. Lead and cadmium are both listed under the act as reproductive toxins.

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 provide consumers with warnings according to Proposition 65. 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. If your favorite manufacturer is on the warning-required list, call, tweet, or otherwise ask them to remove or reduce the heavy metals from their products. Investors should also consider potential risk if they own shares of these companies.

As You Sow, a consumer health protection organization, commissioned an independent state-certified laboratory to measure levels of lead and cadmium in 50 chocolate products available at retailers across California. The chart below reflects testing of chocolate that was performed in 2015 and 2016. The colors of the chart indicate whether, pursuant to test results, the product requires a warning under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.

* The asterisk reflects testing that was performed in 2016.


Manufacturer
Product
Warning Required 

Alfred Ritter Gmbh & Co Kg
Ritter Sport 73% Cocoa Fine Extra Dark Chocolate with fine cocoa from Ecuador
Lead and Cadmium*


Endangered Species Chocolate, LLC
Endangered Species Chocolate Natural Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa
Lead and Cadmium*


Equal Exchange, Inc.
Equal Exchange Organic & Fairly Traded Dark Chocolate Very Dark (71% Cacao)
Lead and Cadmium


Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar 100% Cacao Unsweetened Chocolate
Lead and Cadmium*


Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
Godiva Chocolatier 85% Cacao Extra Dark Chocolate
Lead and Cadmium


Hershey Company
Dagoba Organic Chocolate New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate (74% Cacao)
Lead and Cadmium*


Hershey Company
Dagoba Organic Chocolate Eclipse Extra Strong Dark Chocolate (87% Cacao)
Lead and Cadmium*


Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
Cote D'Or 86% Noir Brut Belgian Dark Chocolate Confection
Lead and Cadmium*


Lake Champlain Chocolates
Lake Champlain Chocolates Dark Chocolate Organic (57% Cocoa)
Lead and Cadmium*


Lindt & Sprungli (Usa) Inc.
Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa Extra Dark Chocolate Bar
Lead and Cadmium*


Lindt & Sprungli (Usa) Inc.
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar
Lead and Cadmium*


Mars, Incorporated
Dove Eggs Dark Chocolate Silky Smooth
Lead and Cadmium*


Mondelez International, Inc.
Green & Black's Organic Dark 85% Cacao Bar
Lead and Cadmium*


Newman's Own Organics- The Second Generation, Inc.
Newman's Own Organics The Second Generation Super Dark Chocolate Premium Organic Chocolate 70% Cocoa
Lead and Cadmium*


See's Candies, Inc.
See's Candies Premium Extra Dark Chocolate Bar 62% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Taza Chocolate
Taza Mexicano Super Dark Direct Trade 85% Dark
Lead and Cadmium


The Kroger Co.
Private Selection 72% cacao Dark Chocolate Swiss Bar
Lead and Cadmium


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar 85% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Dominican Republic 70% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate 73% Cacao Super Dark
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company

Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Tanzania 73% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Peru 60% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Ecuador 66% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Venezuela 70% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Papua New Guinea 70% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Whole Foods Market, Inc.
365 Everyday Value Organic Dark Chocolate Coconut 56% Cacao
Lead and Cadmium*


Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Whole Foods 72% cacao Organic Dark Chocolate & Almond Tanzania Schoolhouse Project
Lead and Cadmium


Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier
Bissinger's All natural 60% dark chocolate, whole almonds
Lead*


Cadbury Uk Ltd
Cadbury Mini Eggs Royal Dark Dark Chocolate With A Crisp Sugar Shell
Lead*


Cadbury Uk Ltd
Cadbury Royal Dark Dark Chocolate Indulgent Semi-Sweet
Lead*


Creative Natural Products, Inc.
Chocolove Extra Strong Dark Chocolate- 77% Cocoa Content
Lead*


Creative Natural Products, Inc.
Chocolove Strong Dark Chocolate Bar 70% Cocoa Content
Lead*


Endangered Species Chocolate, LLC
Endangered Species Chocolate Natural Dark Chocolate (72% Cocoa)
Lead*


Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
Godiva Chocolatier 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate
Lead*


Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
Godiva Chocolatier 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Sea Salt
Lead


Hershey Company
Hershey's Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate
Lead*


Moonstruck Chocolate Co
Moonstruck Solid Dark Chocolate Hand-Painted Calico Bunny
Lead*


Moonstruck Chocolate Co.
Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado (68% cacao)
Lead


See's Candies, Inc.
See's Candies 4.5 oz Sitting Rabbit Dark Chocolate
Lead*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Swiss 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate
Lead*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Pound Plus 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate
Lead*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Bar Toffee With Walnuts and Pecans (70% cacao)
Lead


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Pound Plus- Dark Chocolate
Lead*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Sao Tome 70% Cacao
Lead*


Trader Joe's Company
Trader Joe's Single Origin Chocolate Passport Ghana 70% Cacao
Lead*


Vosges, Ltd.
Wild Ophelia All Natural New Orleans Chili Dark Chocolate Bar (70% cacao)
Lead


Earth Circle Foods Dba River Canyon Retreat Inc.
Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs Cold Pressed
Cadmium


Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Twilight Delight (72% Cacao)
Cadmium*


Hershey Company
Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (82% cacao)
Cadmium*


Hershey Company
Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate (62% cacao)
Cadmium*


Mars, Incorporated
Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar
Cadmium*


Taza Chocolate
Taza Wicked Dark 95% Stone Ground Organic Chocolate
Cadmium*


Theo Chocolate
Theo Organic Fair Trade Pure 85% Dark Chocolate
Cadmium*


Albertson's, LLC (SuperValu, Inc.)
Wild Harvest Organic Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
No warning required


DeMet's Candy Company
Flipz 50% cacao Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels
No warning required


Ferrero USA Inc.
Ferrero Collection Fine assorted Confections
No warning required


Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghiradelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie (86% Cacao)
No warning required


Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghirardelli Chocolate Milk Chocolate Eggs
No warning required*


Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghirardelli Chocolate Premium Baking Bar 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate
No warning required*


Hershey Company
Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate
No warning required*


Hershey Company
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Eggs
No warning required*


Hershey Company
Hershey's Solid Milk Chocolate Snapsy Snap-Apart Bunny Easy To Snap And Share
No warning required*


Jo's Candies
Jo's Candies Dark Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers All Natural
No warning required


Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate Bar with Honey and Almond Nougat
No warning required


Lindt & Sprungli (USA) Inc.
Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt Dark (with Fleur de Sel sea salt crystals)
No warning required


Lindt & Sprungli Gmbh (Germany)
Lindt Gold Bunny Milk Chocolate
No warning required*


Mars, Incorporated
CocoaVia Daily Cocoa Extract Supplement
No warning required


Mars, Incorporated
Snickers
No warning required


Mars, Incorporated
Snickers Bar
No warning required*


Mars, Incorporated
M&M's Chocolate Candies Milk Chocolate, Made with Real Milk Chocolate
No warning required*


Mars, Incorporated
Dove Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny Silky Smooth
No warning required*


Mondelez International, Inc.
Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate (34% Cacao)
No warning required*


Mondelez International, Inc.
Toblerone of Switzerland Milk Chocolate with Honey and Almond Nougat
No warning required*


Mondelez International, Inc.
Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate (34% Cacao)
No warning required


Nestle Holdings, Inc.
Ovaltine Classic Malt Mix
No warning required


Nestle Holdings, Inc.
Nestle Crunch
No warning required


Nestle Holdings, Inc.
Nestle Crunch Milk Chocolate with Crisped Rice
No warning required*


Russell Stover Candies, LLC
Russell Stover Milk Chocolate Break-Apart Bunny
No warning required*


Starbucks Corporation
Starbucks Dark Chocolate covered grahams
No warning required*


The Hershey Company
Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate
No warning required


The Hershey Company
Reese's Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
No warning required


Whitman's Candies, Inc.
Whitman's Solid Milk Chocolate Rabbit
No warning required*

(Source: As You Sow)

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