Group Finds Lead, Cadmium In Chocolate

Group Finds Lead, Cadmium In Chocolate

That chocolate you're putting into your family's Easter baskets may contain something not listed on the label.

Chronic cadmium exposure has been linked to kidney, liver and bone damage.

A non-profit organization in California found illegal levels of cadmium and lead in over half of popular chocolate brands.

"We assumed that companies were testing their products before they put them on the market but they're not", Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow said.

A California watchdog group has released a list of prominent chocolate producers, accusing them of exposing consumers to heavy metals, lead and cadmium, sometimes at three times California's legal limit. The FDA has placed serious restrictions on cadmium and lead in food, and Hershey's says that they are constantly monitored.

Popular brand names on the list include the Bay Area's Ghirardelli and See's. Even chocolates from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods were also found to contain the heavy metals. A few of these cases include chocolate bunnies and eggs such as Dove Eggs Dark Chocolate Silky Smooth, Cadbury Mini Eggs Royal Dark Chocolate With A Crisp Sugar Shell, and Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Hand-Painted Calico Bunny.

As You Sow said that it approached all of the companies on the list about the results, adding that only two of them have asked to work with the group to solve the issue, while the others claimed that the products are safe to eat and the metals are from naturally occurring sources.

The group said both lead and cadmium can stay in a person's system for years.

The National Confectioner Association said in a statement that "Consumers can rest assured that our products are safe, and that our industry adheres to all government regulations".