17 Chocolate Brands Whose Products Contain Heavy Metals Lead and Cadmium

According to the EU’s new cadmium exposure limits guidelines starting January 2019 the following measures will apply so that buyer’s protection is ensured:

  • Milk chocolate that contains more than 30% dry cocoa solids shouldn’t contain more than 0,30mg per kilo wet weight cadmium.
  • Cocoa powder shouldn’t contain more than 0,60mg per kilo wet weight cadmium.
  • Milk chocolate that contains less than 30% dry cocoa solids should contain more than 0,10mg per kilo wet weight cadmium.
  • Chocolate that contains more than 50% of dry cocoa solids shouldn’t contain more than 0,80mg per kilo wet weight cadmium.

According to Confectionary News’ publication there’re still no strict restrictions regarding the cadmium content in chocolate in the US but California wants to implement a warning label on all things that have a cadmium content of over 4,1mg. The FDA says that there’s a restriction of a maximum of 0,1mg of lead in candy for little kids as well.
Some studies which were published by the As You Sow consumer health magazine show that out of 50 tested chocolate samples for mass consumption manufactured by different brands and companies 35 have a significantly increased level of lead and cadmium and surpass the guidelines given in the California Toxin Enforcement and Safe Drinking Water Act.

The health magazine’s tests which were conducted in independent laboratories revealed that there’s cadmium and lead in chocolate products that don’t have a warning label even though they’re legally required to inform their customers of the content.
As You Sow has filed legal notices to some chocolate manufacturers like Mars, Earth Circle Organic, Whole Foods, Godiva, Equal Exchange, Lindt, Kroger, Hershey’s See’s Candies, Theo Chocolate, Trader’s Joe and many others for the lack of warning label on their chocolate that will inform the customers their products contain lead and/or cadmium.

Exposure to these heavy metals in small amount has been connected to neurological impairment, learning disabilities and decreased IQ, especially in children. Despite the safe exposure levels issued from the FDA we can say without a doubt that there’s no such thing when it comes to our children, even the smallest amounts are fatal.
Cadmium and lead exposure should especially be avoided by kids and pregnant women as they’re the most vulnerable group. We need to do something to protect our children and not expose them to unnecessary levels of toxic material.

Lead and cadmium can build up in the body so we need to do everything we can do avoid this as it can have fatal consequences. Our ultimate goal is to force the chocolate manufacturers to find a way in which there will be no cadmium nor lead in the chocolate we eat, As You Sow President, Danielle Fugere, points out.
According to experts, chronic cadmium exposure has been traced back to liver, kidney and bone damage and our children are the most vulnerable to this exposure, even at extremely low levels. Animal studies have revealed that cadmium exposure can lead to male reproductive problems, neurobehavioral problems and decreased weight at birth.

Below you will find the brands of chocolate that were discovered to contain lead and cadmium:

Earth Circle Foods.

  • Their Cold Pressed Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs contain cadmium


  • Their Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao contains lead and cadmium
  • Their Extra Dark Chocolate 85% Cacao contains lead and cadmium
  • Their Sea Salt Dark Chocolate contains lead


  • Their New Moon Organic Rich Dark Chocolate with 74% cacao contains lead and cadmium

Lindt & Sprüngli.

  • Their Extra Dark Lindt Excellence Chocolate with 85% Cocoa contains lead and cadmium

Mondelez International

  • Their Black and Green Organic Bar with 85% Cacao contains lead and cadmium

See’s Candies

  • Their Premium Extra Dark Chocolate with 62% cacao contains cadmium

Theo Chocolate

  • Their Organic Dark Chocolate Pure 85% Fair Trade contains cadmium


  • Their Dark Chocolate Bar Ophelia New Orleans Chili All Natural with 70% cacao contains lead


  • Their Dark Chocolate with Whole Almonds 60% cocoa contains lead

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

  • Their Premium Baking Bar with 100% Cacao contains lead and cadmium
  • Their Intense Dark Chocolate Bar Twilight Delight 72% Cacao contains cadmium

The Hershey Company

  • Their Extra Dark Scharffen Berger Fine Artisan Chocolate with 82% cacao contains cadmium
  • Their Semisweet Scharffen Berger Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate with 62% cacao contains cadmium
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Their Dark Chocolate with 57% cocoa contains lead and cadmium


  • Their Dove Dark Chocolate Bar Silky Smooth contains cadmium

Moonstruck Chocolate

  • Their Dark Chocolate Variado Chile with 68% cacao contains lead

The Kroger

  • Their Dark Chocolate Bar Swiss Private Selection with 72% Cacao contains lead and cadmium

Trader Joe’s

  • Their Dark Chocolate Bar Toffee With Pecans and Walnuts contains lead
  • Their Super Dark Chocolate with 73% Cacao contains cadmium and lead
  • Their Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar with 85% cacao contains lead and cadmium
  • Their Swiss Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao contains lead

Whole Foods Market

  • Their Everyday Value Dark Chocolate Organic with 56% Cacao contains cadmium and lead

Article and image source: healthysynonym.com

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