Consumer Reports finds more lead and cadmium in chocolate: asks Hershey to make changes

Written by Jonathan Stemple

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer Reports recently said it found “troubling” levels of lead and cadmium in a third of different chocolate products it tested and called on Hershey Co. to reduce the amounts of heavy metals in its chocolate.

The consumer nonprofit took notice 16 out of 48 products From various manufacturers analyzed by their scientists contained Potentially harmful levels of lead, cadmium, or both.

Consumer Reports analyzed products in seven categories: dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate bars, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and brownie mixes, chocolate cakes, and hot chocolate.

Products with excess mineral content include:

  • A piece of dark chocolate and hot chocolate mix Walmart,

  • Cocoa powder Hershey and Drost,

  • Semisweet chocolate chips Goal,

  • And hot chocolate mixes Trader Joe’s, Nestle And Starbucks.

Only milk chocolate bars, which contain lower amounts of cocoa solids, did not have excess mineral content.

FILE PHOTO: Hershey’s chocolate is for sale on a shelf in a store in New York City’s Manhattan borough

What does it mean for health

According to Consumer Reports, prolonged exposure to metals can cause nervous system problems, immune system suppression and kidney damage, with a greater risk to pregnant women and young children.

The FDA told the organization that experts consider chocolate a “minor source of exposure” to lead and cadmium internationally, but manufacturers and processors remain responsible for ensuring your food is safe.

They point directly to Hershey

Consumer Reports Food Policy Director Brian Ronholm said: The Hershey Company, as a “leading and popular brand,” must commit to making its chocolate safer.

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Steve Voskuil, Hershey’s chief financial officer, said in March that his company was trying to reduce lead and cadmium levels, noting that the metals are earth elements that can be naturally present in a chocolate product.

(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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