Who doesn’t love chocolate?
People of all ages enjoy this indulgent treat from time to time. In fact, dark chocolate has been known as a heart-healthy treat from time to time — because dark chocolate is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants and some studies have shown it can help reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease. But, did you know that researches have recently found dangerous substances in dark chocolate?
Lead & Cadmium
A recent report from Consumer Reports reveals that some of the most popular dark chocolate brands contain unsafe levels of lead and cadmium. Both of these heavy metals can be very harmful when consumed in excess. If consumed regularly, they can cause significant developmental problems in children and many severe issues in adults. The report indicates that for pregnant women who consume dark chocolate, the risk can be even greater. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids from the cacao bean than milk chocolate. As a result, lead and cadmium can often accumulate in the cocoa solids.
Brands You Know & Trust
The Consumer Reports report tested twenty-eight dark chocolate brands to determine their lead and cadmium levels. Twenty-three of these brands contained enough lead and cadmium that just one ounce per day could pose serious health risks. Trader Joe’s, Theo, Nestle and Lily’s are among the brands with the highest levels of lead and cadmium. Taza Chocolate and Ghirardelli dark chocolate, on the other hand, contained much safer levels of lead and cadmium.
How Cadmium & Lead Infiltrate Chocolate
The study goes on to share how these dangerous ingredients can be very problematic, as they each can contaminate chocolate differently. For example, lead can seep into harvested cocoa beans if they come into contact with roads or dirty equipment. Putting the beans through a more intense cleaning and drying process can minimize lead levels. However, cadmium contamination occurs within the soil, making it much more arduous to fix. So, the next time you crave dark chocolate, do a little more research, especially when choosing to feed it to children. Opting for chocolates with lower cacao percentages can limit your risk as well.
Newly Filed Litigation
If you or a loved one consume above-average amounts of dark chocolate bars manufactured/sold under the Trader Joe’s, Theo, Nestle and Lily’s brands, you may be eligible to join recently filed litigation seeking to hold these companies responsible for failing to disclose the high levels of lead and cadmium in these chocolate bars and for placing everyday consumers at risk of developing health issues. The law offices of Bennett & Heyman are hear to help. Call our offices for a free consultation.