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article imageChocolate candies found to have unsafe levels of metal

By Tim Sandle     Feb 22, 2015 in Health
San Fransisco - Independent testing has found 62 percent of chocolate products contain levels of lead or cadmium at a level that violates California’s proposition 65 law.
The laboratory analysis was conducted on behalf of consumer group As You Sow, the nonprofit foundation in California. The laboratory recently examined 43 different chocolate based products on sale in the U.S. state of California. According to the Faculty for Food Safety and Quality, the results found that almost two-thirds of the products contained levels of the metals lead or cadmium that exceeded those stated as "safe" in the state's food legislation.
The current food law in California does not require products recording such levels to be withdrawn from sale. However, food companies are required to warn customers about the amounts of chemicals present in the products and provide a list of chemicals that may be carcinogenic or which have other adverse health effects, so that consumers can make an informed choice. Excessive lead exposure can lead to neurological damage and learning disabilities. Cadmium ingestion is a health risk to pregnant women and children.
Bridget Huber of FairWarning said that the study’s findings are concerning because: "A single serving of the chocolate with the highest lead levels contained 5.9 times the maximum allowable dose level set by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment…Those with the highest concentrations of cadmium contained 8.2 times the maximum allowable dose level set by the state, per serving. None carry a warning label."
As a result of the testing, some 16 companies are to be filed notices of legal action based on a failure to provide the required warnings about the metal inside the chocolate ingredients. The companies facing action include Mars, Hershey, See’s candies and Godiva.
According to Minnpost, Susan Smith, senior vice president of communications and outreach at the National Confectioners Association, said that it is impossible to eliminate all traces of cadmium and lead from their products because such metals occur naturally in the soil and water in some of the areas where cocoa beans are grown.
In related chocolate news, Nestle USA has announced that by the end of 2015, they will remove artificial colors and flavors like Red 40, Yellow 5 and artificial vanillin from all candy brands in US. This includes more than 250 products.
More about Chocolate, Cadmium, Metal, food adulteration
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