Does Your Chocolate Contain Lead? Your Sweet Treats Might Be Killing You

Mar 28, 2016 05:04 AM EDT | By Staff Reporter

Chocolate Easter Bunny Production At Confiserie Felicitas
HORNOW, GERMANY - APRIL 09: Milk chocolate flows into a vat at the production facility at Confiserie Felicitas chocolates maker on April 9, 2014 in Hornow, Germany. Easter is among the busiest times of year for the chocolatier, which produces Easter bunnies and eggs in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Founded by Belgian expats Goedele Matthyssen and Peter Bientsman the company will soon celebrate its 21st year.
(Photo : (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images))

Who doesn't love chocolates? It's one of the most popular foods all over the world. But health watchdog As You Sow released a report that says a dangerous amount of lead and cadmium are found in some popular chocolate brands.

In a press release by As You Sow, they said they have tested 50 popular chocolate brands and it turned out 35 out of the 50 have lead and cadmium in them. Some of the brands are "Trader Joe's, Hershey's, Green and Black's, Lindt, Whole Foods, Kroger, Godiva, See's Candies, Mars, Theo Chocolate, Equal Exchange, Ghirardelli, Earth Circle Organics, and more. The organization claims that they have informed the brands about their findings and that they have issued legal notices to them.

According to CNN however, lead is naturally present in cacao that's why it can be traced in chocolate. But in a very minimal amount "It's not something that will be listed among the ingredients, but chocolate contains some lead. Manufacturers say its trace amounts, and it makes its way into chocolate as a naturally occurring element that is absorbed by the cacao plant". Although As They Sow claims to have found an undisclosed amount of lead in the above mentioned brands, they said they will be working closely with the brands to help produce healthier chocolates and help them lessen the lead and cadmium content in their chocolates. "As You Sow won't disclose the exact amounts of metals found in the products, in hopes of working directly with the manufacturers to help target sources of these metals".

Research says that no level of lead is acceptable to the body especially in children. From one of their earlier studies, As You Sow said "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."

Thus, both lead and cadmium should be avoided. "Lead and cadmium accumulate in the body, so avoiding exposure is important, especially for children," said Danielle Fugere, As You Sow President. Some conditions which are said to result from lead and cadmium exposures are kidney damage, liver damage, and bone damages.

If you wish to find out more about the chocolate study they have conducted, you can reach As You Sow here.

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