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List of chocolates found to contain cadmium and/or lead (by As You Sow):

Asked on March 09, 2015
Created February 14, 2015 at 3:00 PM

"Responding to published research showing high levels of heavy metals in commonly eaten food items, As You Sow began extensive independent laboratory testing of 42 chocolate products for lead and cadmium. We found that 26 of the chocolate products (~62%) contain lead and/or cadmium at levels in which one serving exceeds the California safe harbor level for reproductive harm. We filed notices with 16 manufacturers, including See’s, Mars, Hershey, Lindt, Godiva, Whole Foods, and others, for failing to provide required warnings to consumers that their chocolate products contain lead, cadmium, or both."

They have posted a list (see link below) with all the brands that tested positive for cadmium and/or lead and also those brands that didn´t.

http://www.asyousow.org/our-work/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/lead-and-cadmium-in-food/

Does anyone know if any of the brands that passed the test have organically certified products in their product lines? 

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8 Answers

2
Medium avatar

(10591)

on February 20, 2015
at 02:17 PM

Who could possibly know? The occurrence of the heavy metals comes from the cacao's growing site:

http://www.icco.org/sites/sps/documents/Cadmium%20Workshop/CABI.pdf

This study doesn't even cover the most common growing sites in Africa. 

The same concern applies to oysters. The studies I've read suggest that the Cd/Pb content is reduced by avoiding oysters grown in populated areas. But oysters still concentrate metals if they are present. It's what they do, and if they're concentrating Zn/Mg/Mn it's a good thing.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 20, 2015
at 03:16 PM

in case you were replying to me, I was saying the same things.

Medium avatar

(10591)

on February 20, 2015
at 03:38 PM

It was to the OP glib but point well taken. Human activity produces the heavy metals that organisms concentrate. Garbage dumps, sewers, mine tailings, roadway runoff, etc.

1
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 19, 2015
at 12:45 PM

@foodrevolution

Exactly my point. It is a naturallistic fallacy. People were never scared of chocolate before even though the lead was always there, but the minute they were told it was from pollution instead of from naturally occurring lead/cadmium in the soil, everyone starts freaking out, even though it's the same exact thing.

The lead was always there, even the Hershey's CEO had talked about this as being old news. Chocolate accumulates a lot of minerals and people making the claim that it's because of pollution are just trying to scare people.

Also, at low levels, it's harmless. Do you know what the rate of deaths from chocolate-induced lead poisoning per year are? Zero, yup, 0 deaths per year.

Car deaths are 33,000 per year.

So you can go back to driving your car and I'll go back to eating my chocolate lol. 

Medium avatar

on February 20, 2015
at 11:40 AM

I have answered you above in a stand-alone post. See above.

1
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 18, 2015
at 07:47 PM

The interesting fact, however, is that cadmium is generally increasing in conventional foodstuffs (corn and other major staples). It is hardly a prerogative of cocoa. Mined P, K impurities the clear culprit.

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 20, 2015
at 12:46 PM

@foodrevolution

Don't eat chocolate then. Jesus you people are such hypochondriacs.

Everything is out to make you sick or dead, huh? How do you live like that? 

Medium avatar

on February 20, 2015
at 01:44 PM

Im trying to figure out WHAT chocolate I CAN/WANT to eat. You havent contributed with anything productive in this thread so far, except for a bunch of fallacies and misconceptions. So instead of me abstaining from eating chocolate, why do you not just stay out of the thread when you are obviously not adding any value to it? 

Seeking out quality sources of food is an essential part of the paleo diet. Considering you dont seem very bothered, I am kind of questioning what you are doing here? Maybe you should go to a forum targeting the LCHF crowd instead, if you dont mind toxins and such?

Medium avatar

on February 20, 2015
at 01:45 PM

To answer your question: I live very well. thank you. Precisely because I care about what I eat and don´t. 

Medium avatar

on February 20, 2015
at 01:49 PM

Checking the rest of your threads, I see I am right. You are not paleo, but LCHF. Figures. 

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 20, 2015
at 08:36 PM

May the Paleo Gods smite me for my blasphemy LOL

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 17, 2015
at 10:08 PM

All chocolate has some small level of heavy metals in it. It's naturally occurring. For the same reason that it has high levels of iron, copper, manganese, etc. Chocolate is very rich in minerals and therefore you can also expect to find some minute levels of heavy metals in it as well. It's in basically every brand of choclate you buy. 

There's no reason to panick, it's always been this way, and the amounts are so tiny it would take a ridiculous amount of chocolate to get heavy metal poisoning from it. The theobromine overdose would kill you way before the heavy metals do lol.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 18, 2015
at 12:57 AM

same as oysters and certain edible fly larvae. they accumulate minerals indiscriminately, so they are both very nutritious and toxic in large amounts. but chocolate gets most of its cadmium from inorganic fertilizers used in the cocoa orchard. Lead could be due the combination of fertilizers and acid tropical soils and/or tropical soil food web, because it is poorly absorbed by plants in temperate climates.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on February 18, 2015
at 12:08 PM

Actually that page clearly says they're above the safe limit.  Indeed, what you say is true, but it's from pollution, not from nature, even if it were from nature, lead and cadmium aren't nutrients, they're outright toxins.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 18, 2015
at 04:45 PM

@raydawg

The safety limits are made orders of magnitude smaller than what is actually toxic, as a matter of precaution, this is stardard practice for most safety limits in toxicology. The human body can tolerate the amounts in chocolate quite safely. It's all in the dose, chocolate is perfectly safe. The theobromine in the chocolate is more toxic than the miniscule lead content.

Toxins which exist naturally in nature raydawg. Lead is not a man-made chemical any more than water or oxygen, it is a mineral which is found naturally in soil, and can be found in great abundance in some places. It's not from pollution: lead is lead, it all had to come from the earth in the first place. 

Every week some fear-mongering article comes out trying to scare people with some newly fabricated health-scare. This week it's chocolate lol. Seriously, people need to stop being pussies.

Medium avatar

on February 19, 2015
at 12:22 PM

@TheGastronomer

 

First of all: How about assessing the facts before coming to a conclusion about the situation? That you just throw it out of the window without bothering to the check the facts is telling and tells me not to put much weight to what you are writing.

Secondly, it is seriously obscure reasoning to claim that pollution and contamination is "natural" just because toxins "exist in nature". By that sort of reasoning Chernobyl was "natural" and "harmless", according to you. Ridiculous.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on February 19, 2015
at 12:52 PM

@TheGastronomer lead is an element, not a chemical.  Many such heavy metals can bioaccumulate.  One of the most common forms is a man made version called tetraethyllead which was used in leaded gasoline, and now pollutes soil all over the world.  It doesn't go away with time, it has to be actively removed from the soil it contaminates.

Yes, levels of lead that have no effect on you may have a large effect on those who already carry a large lead burden, or are young, and bioaccumulate.  Tetraethyllead for example can be stored in fat and re-released into the body when energy is released from the fat cells, which then causes more damage.  This is why the limits are "so low".

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 19, 2015
at 01:06 PM

@raydawg

"lead is an element, not a chemical"

Hahaha! ROFL. Seriously man? No offense but did you even take basic high-school chemistry? LOL. Wow. I'm done here this is hopeless.

Ok look really basic stuff, I'll keep it super simple: chemicals can be 1) elements or 2) molecules (a grouping of more than one atom). 

I think you are confusing "chemical" with "molecule".

Medium avatar

on February 20, 2015
at 11:44 AM

@TheGastronomer: Potatos, potatoes. Raydawgs main point about heavy metals in the context of a biological system (such as a human) is still valid.

-1
Medium avatar

on February 20, 2015
at 11:34 AM

@TheGastronomer

"Exactly my point. It is a naturallistic fallacy."

The biggest fallacy here is your highly flawed "logic". I will explain why below.

"People were never scared of chocolate before even though the lead was always there, but the minute they were told it was from pollution instead of from naturally occurring lead/cadmium in the soil, everyone starts freaking out, even though it's the same exact thing."

Of course, since there is a big difference between "naturally occurring" and pollution. Also, according to you, reacting to news is "a fallacy". Such a claim is ridiculous on its face.

"The lead was always there, even the Hershey's CEO had talked about this as being old news. Chocolate accumulates a lot of minerals and people making the claim that it's because of pollution are just trying to scare people."

I had not heard about it, so its news to me. And there is a lot of pollution problems when it comes to heavy metal contamination, making at times for hundreds or thousands times the NATURAL levels. If there is something you SHOULD worry about when it comes to heavy metals, besides led paint and so on, its agriculture. So, again, you are wrong. You do not have the facts and you have completely misunderstood the application of the same, talking about a "naturalistic fallacy" when fact is that pollution IS a problem and that there IS a big difference between naturally occurring levels and levels that are caused by artificial contamination. To not understand that point is to be blind to logic! To not understand that the toxic effect stems from the dose is to be ignorant about basic toxicology.

"Also, at low levels, it's harmless. Do you know what the rate of deaths from chocolate-induced lead poisoning per year are? Zero, yup, 0 deaths per year."

I am not worried about dying from chocolate. That is a strawman assumption on your part. But there are degrees in hell and thus also a lot of unpleasent things that do not directly cause death. Contaminated food products is one such thing. Also, heavy metals accumulate slowly over the years in the body and are implicated by many studies in many forms of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, neurological disorders, etc. To say it is ignorant to worry about even low-level exposure of heavy metals just because you will not drop dead from it the next instant is flawed and even feeble-minded. All sources of heavy metals aggregate and the sum is the equivalent of its parts. 

Conslusion: To aim to reduce and, as far as possible, cut out all the sources of heavy metal contamination is a rational thing to do. I would even go as far as to say that it is irrational not to attempt to do so.

-1
Medium avatar

on February 18, 2015
at 08:57 PM

@TheGastronomer: It is seriously obscure reasoning to claim that pollution and contamination is "natural" just because toxins "exist in nature". By that sort of reasoning Chernobyl was "natural" and "harmless", according to you. Ridiculous.

-1
Medium avatar

on February 18, 2015
at 07:11 AM

@TheGastronomer: Did you read the test results even? It is not about "naturally occurring" heavy metals, it is about higher levels that are due to man-made pollution (contamination of the soil). Which is a completely different thing from what TheGastronomer is asserting. By his logic, no pollution and contamination would be problematic. Which, of course, is ridiculous.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 18, 2015
at 05:04 PM

Except the link you posted doesn't have a reference to the official test results, just a hit-list of "chocolates to avoid" lol.

Seems like a classis fear-mongering hit-piece by an environmental group trying to get additional attention/funding (they even have a Donate page where you can send them your money so they can "protect you" from chocolate lol).

Personally, I hope people/health-nuts stop eating chocolate, since the price of chocolate has been going through the roof lately due to increased demand and somewhat shorter supply. The more people believe this nonsense, the cheaper chocolate would get due to decreased demand, actually, I should just shut up and support this faux study. After all, I like my chocolate dark, delicious and cheap :)

Medium avatar

on February 18, 2015
at 08:56 PM

How about researching the facts BEFORE you make conclusions. As I wrote earlier, it is seriously obscure reasoning to claim that pollution and contamination is "natural" just because toxins "exist in nature". By that sort of reasoning Chernobyl was "natural" and "harmless", according to you. Ridivulous.

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