Saturday, April 9, 2016

Study finds most chocolate contains toxic metals

Candy bars. (photo: Dan Goodman/AP)
Candy bars. (photo: Dan Goodman/AP)

By Clint Rainey, Grub Street
nother round of bad news for chocoholics: Not only can molten aluminum not melt your favorite candy, but the odds are also pretty high it contains toxic levels of lead, cadmium, or even both, according to a new study by consumer group As You Sow.

The advocacy group tested 50 different popular chocolates for the two heavy metals, and results showed the amount was "above the safe harbor threshold," as defined by California, in 35 of them. They're pretty much all dark chocolates — the long list includes a variety of high-percent-cacao products by Hershey's, Mars, Godiva, Lindt, Ghirardelli, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods, as well as Cadbury's dark-chocolate eggs and specialty bars by Vosges and Taza.

Altogether, it's 18 manufacturers, and As You Sow says it's petitioning them to add warnings to their labels (futilely, no doubt). It's worth noting the metals aren't being added by the companies; cocoa plants absorb them directly from the soil, though it's typically understood to be in trace amounts and varies depending on where the plant grew. (Milk chocolate gets more of a pass because it straight-up has less cocoa.)

Advocacy groups have noted these high levels before, but experts don't exactly agree on what dangers they present. Consumer Labs advises people to limit their intake of chocolate to one serving per day, while As You Sow leaves the amount up to consumers but notes that lead is linked to "a variety of neurological impairments, including learning disabilities, seizures, and a lower IQ," while cadmium can cause "damage to the kidney, liver, and bones, while also impairing neurobehavioral development."


+12 # nogardflow 2016-03-25 23:20
+11 # John of Milpitas 2016-03-25 23:30
Damn! Again.
Here my wife has her Lindt dark chocolate truffles. I have my Lindt 90% dark chocolate bars because it has less sugar. We think they're healthy for the antioxidants. Every month or so it's something else we find that's bad for us.
+6 # nice2bgreat 2016-03-25 23:41
Peasants are lucky for everything they get.
+2 # StellaD 2016-03-26 06:04
Consumer Lab tested many chocolates and approved a couple. Best for low toxicity and high health benefits is Bakers unsweetened. I melt it for cocoa though it's not as much fun as an excellent truffle.
0 # cymricmorty 2016-03-26 08:42
Somehow I'm not crazy about chocolate and it's just as well. Heavy metal toxicity would explain much of my chocoholic boss's irrational/unreasonable behavior.
0 # 2016-03-26 08:42
Well THAT sucks. Half the Ben & Jerry's ice creams I eat have chocolate in them.

Oh well--guess I'll stay with Peanut Butter Cup & Strawberry Cheesecake

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