Chocolate Products That Contain Worrying Amounts Of Lead And Cadmium

The health benefits of dark chocolate, such as heart healthy, good for the skin, cholesterol and diabetes, are well documented in the scientific literature. But, a recent research casts a shadow over the commercial chocolate brands as a safe source of obtaining these benefits. Namely, the research shows that many of the chocolate brands sold on the market contain worrying amounts of lead and cadmium.

Published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the research analyzed 30 different brands of dark, white and milk chocolate, sold all over Brazil and the US.

The researchers tested each of the products for the two metals, lead and cadmium, which can damage the kidneys, impair IQ, reduce the ability to pay attention, and cause other health problems, especially in children.

What they found is that many of them contained levels of lead and cadmium above the permitted limits set by California standards and laws. The chocolate manufacturers say that these are naturally occurring trace amounts, coming from the soil. That the products are not made from cocoa beans cultivated in contaminated soil.

According to the Federal guidelines, set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there shouldn’t be more than 0.1 ppm of lead.

Chocolate Effects On Children

Eating too much chocolate can contribute to overweight and obesity in children. In addition, health experts warn about the content of heavy metals, or more specifically, about the side effects of lead and cadmium.

Namely, consuming too much of the contaminated chocolate brands can cause the daily limit of lead, recommended by health agencies, to be exceeded. Children have a greater capacity to absorb the ingredients in the digestive tract, and therefore, increase the percentage of heavy metals in their bloodstream. Since it takes a long time for the organism to eliminate lead and cadmium, they can consequently cause health problems, such as behavioral disorders, delayed language development, vomiting, weight loss, memory problems, kidney damage, etc.

Given these consequences, it is necessary to control the intake of chocolate in children. But also, it’s advisable to know the other types of foods that have a high level of heavy metals, so that you can control the intake within the margins of safety.

In short, we should say yes to dark chocolate, but it moderation.

Contaminated Chocolate Brands

Lead And Cadmium Contents

  • Ritter sport 73 percent Dark chocolate from Ecuador
  • Equal exchange very dark 71 percent
  • Ghirardelli 100 percent Cacao
  • Hershey Dagoba Eclipse, Extra Strong 87 percent Cacao
  • Kraft Cote D’Or 86 percent Belgian Dark
  • Lindt Excellence 85 percent Cocoa Dark
  • Lindt Excellence 70 percent Cocoa Smooth Dark
  • Mars Dove Eggs Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate
  • Trader Joe’s Single Origin Dominican Republic 70 percent Cacao
Lead Contents
  • Bissinger’s All Natural 60 percent dark, with whole almonds
  • Cadbury Royal Dark Chocolate, semisweet
  • Chocolove Strong Dark Chocolate, 70 percent Cocoa
  • Godiva Chocolatier 50 percent Cacao, Sea Salt
  • Hershey’s Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate
  • Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate, Toffee With Pecans and Walnuts, 70 percent Cacao


Cadmium Contents

  • Ghirardelli Chocolate, Intense Dark, 72 percent Cacao
  • Hershey Company Scharffen Berger, Dark Chocolate 62 percent Cacao
  • Mars Dove Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate
  • Theo Organic Fair Trade 85 percent Cacao

No Warnings

  • Ferrero Collection Fine assorted Confections
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Milk Chocolate Eggs
  • Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar 60 percent Cacao, Bittersweet
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Eggs
  • Lindt Gold Bunny Milk Chocolate
  • Mars Snickers
  • Nestle Crunch
  • Starbucks Dark Chocolate, grahams

You can find the extensive list on the following link: Toxic Enforcement – Toxic Chocolate

Is there lead in your chocolate?
Toxic chocolate
Lead and cadmium found in some chocolate bought in Brazil
Guidance for Industry: Lead in Candy Likely To Be Consumed Frequently by Small Children

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