Consumer Reports, an American nonprofit consumer organization dedicated to independent product testing, recently published an article warning about the levels of heavy metals it found in dark chocolates..
The Dark Side Of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has long been considered a ‘healthy’ indulgence given its rich supply of antioxidants and relatively low sugar levels. But according to Consumer Reports testing has discovered worrisome levels of lead or cadmium – heavy metals linked to a host of health problems in children and adults.
Five of the twenty-eight chocolate bars tested had high levels of both heavy metals. These include Trader Joe;s, Lily (owned by Hershey’s), Green and Black’s (owned by Mondelez) and two bars by Theo.
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 people 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.
“But there are risks for people of any age,” he says. Frequent exposure to lead in adults, for example, can lead to nervous system problems, hypertension, immune system suppression, kidney damage, and reproductive issues. While most people don’t eat chocolate every day, 15 percent do, according to the market research firm Mintel. Even if you aren’t a frequent consumer of chocolate, lead and cadmium can still be a concern. It can be found in many other foods—such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots—and small amounts from multiple sources can add up to dangerous levels. That’s why it’s important to limit exposure when you can.
Consumer Reports Petitioning Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s, Mondelez & Theo To Reduce Harmful Levels of Heavy Metals.
Consumer Reports has launched a petition against the above Chocolatiers and urges the public to sign it. The aim of the petition is to persuade these manufacturers to lower the amount of heavy metals in their products.
Consumer Reports Test Results