PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As children’s Easter baskets fill with candy this weekend, a consumer group is raising questions about some of those sweets.
The group wanted to find out, is your chocolate toxic? It’s not sugar or fat, but dangerous heavy metals that have them sounding an alarm.
The consumer group called, As You Sow, is based in San Francisco. It tested about 50 types of chocolate and says that 35 tested positive for lead or cadmium, or both.
“We assumed that companies were testing their products before they put them on the market, but they’re not,” said As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar.
The group found both lead and cadmium in 20 of the chocolates it tested.
Some of the more popular ones include: Lindt 85 percent and Lindt 70 percent dark chocolate, Dove Dark Chocolate Eggs; as well as two from Trader Joe’s – 73 percent cacao super dark and the Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar.
When it comes to lead, As You Sow found it in 17 of the chocolates tested, including two from Cadbury – Royal Dark Mini Eggs and Royal Dark Chocolate Bar.
Lead was also found in two from Godiva – 72 percent and 50 percent cacao dark chocolate – as well as in Hershey’s Special Dark.
As for cadmium, it was found in seven chocolates including: Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight and Dove Dark Chocolate.
The FDA says even low levels of lead can affect a child’s brain, and the effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected.
“There is no safe limit of lead for children,” says Behar. “It causes loss of IQ; it causes neurological damage.”
As You Sow approached all companies with their results, and say that only two of the companies have asked to work with them to fix the problem.
The others denied any wrongdoing.
The National Confectioners Association issued this statement:
“Consumers can rest assured that our products are safe, and that our industry adheres to all government regulations.”
As You Sow also listed all of the chocolates that were found to be free of either lead or cadmium, like Snickers, Hershey’s Kisses and M&M’s.
To find the entire list, visit As You Sow’s website here: http://www.asyousow.org/our-work/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/lead-and-cadmium-in-food/