Heavy Metals Found in Top Brands of Chocolate

Uh oh, anything but finding out about this.  My guilty pleasure has just become a lot less pleasurable.  The timing of this news is quite interesting – a few days before Valentines, the biggest chocolate day of the year.

As You Sow conducted extensive independent laboratory testing of 42 chocolate products for lead and cadmium. They found that 26 of the products contained unsafe levels according to the California safe harbor level for reproductive harm.  Excessive amounts of lead and cadmium were found in popular brands of chocolate including See’s, Mars, Hershey, Lindt, Godiva, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and others.

How Heavy Metals Get Into Chocolate

Heavy metals are minerals, and are present in the soil.  All food grown in soil contains them.   So how do unsafe levels of lead and cadmium get into chocolate?  From the usage of commercial pesticides and fertilizers that contain lead and cadmium.

Lead and Cadmium

Cadmium is a possible carcinogenic (cancer causing agent).  It is toxic to the bones, even causing bone pain.  It may also cause kidney damage, and affect fetal development.

Excessive amounts of lead, though not good for anyone, is particularly toxic for children. Lead exposure is associated with learning disabilities, neurological damage and IQ impairment. Pregnant women should also avoid any contact with lead as it can cause irreparable damage to the fetus.

Go Organic

The only hope we have to live a healthy life is to eat organic food.  That includes chocolate. Dangerous levels of heavy metals in foods need to carry warning labels.  It is up to us, as consumers, to put pressure on food manufacturers.  They need to either use ingredients that are not dangerous, or label foods that are.

Sadly, I guess I won’t be going on the chocolate diet anytime soon…