Hershey: Consumer Reports finds lead and cadmium in dark chocolate


Levels involved and sources lacking. Details needed.

Old news. Well, a few weeks old.

Trader Joe’s and Hershey being sued. More to come, I’m sure.

Very sadly, this has made me change my dark chocolate fix. Who knew?

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But not reported on Motley Fool boards. I wonder why? (I did search before the posting.)

I mentioned it in a Starbucks thread a while back, but you’re absolutely correct that it wasn’t reported on its own thread.

Mast and Ghirardelli’s 86% have become my ‘go to’ dark chocolate these days. The CR report really bummed me out, but it also made me change my dark chocolate habits.

Got to figure out how to get in these class action lawsuits so I can spend hours and hours documenting my dark chocolate consumption so I can collect a settlement check for $3.42. I suspect that the lawyers will get a tad more than that.


Hey, heaven forbid anything bad should happen to you. But save your labels and receipts. If worst comes to worst you can blame your ill health on bad chocolate and sue for at least $10MM.


Never cared for dark chocolate. Milk chocolate works great.

Even better, in fact…at least from the perspective of dentists, endocrinologists, Novo Nordisk execs etc. looking to avoid the dole.

iirc, chocolate came up in the thread about the study that, contrary to the industry funded studies that “proved” you should drink alcohol every day, regular consumption of alcohol is not a good idea.

It was suggested in that thread that the pro-chocolate “studies” the media has been pushing on the mob, for years, the ones funded by the Confectioner’s Association, might be bent too.

Probably only a matter of time until a study on coffee, not written by “Juan Valdez” makes the news too.



Whilst it’s a good idea to be aware of potential biases in research, if your own bias is to question every industry funded study just because it’s industry funded, then there’s a strong potential to miss the real reasons for questioning what you read. That the conclusions drawn might be wrong, for instance…and they’ll be just as wrong if they’d been NIH funded or by a no strings attached grant from a charitable organisation.

With the health halo that’s been promoted for, say, dark chocolate or red wine…anything of an observational nature is likely to be skewed by other habits of the observed demographic. The confounding variables that Ben Goldacre mentioned in the TED talk I linked to. Bench research studying the isolated components at cellular level might give some interesting answers but avouds the most obvious question…i.e. how much of the stuff does a person have to eat/drink to gain the benefits from the changes measured on individual cells?

I’d wager that the amount might not fall into the energy budget of a reasonable weight management eating plan (the candy) or within the capacity of even a healthy liver to metabolise the stuff (the booze)


Hershey Responds to Lead and Cadmium in Chocolate from Consumer Report


Chemistry has very sensitive analytical methods. With most foods, you can burn off the organic materials leaving a residue often of traces of the minerals present. This residue can be analyzed to determine which elements are present. In fact it’s a way to fingerprint materials to see where they were made.

You are not surprised if you find hard water elements when water is used in processing. Or traces of metals as from stainless steel (iron, nickel, chromium) copper tin zinc, etc. Lead can come from solder.

These are natural elements all around us. Everywhere. The official position that no amount of lead is acceptable is problematic. Because chemistry has no zero. The best you can do is less than the lowest amount your method detects.

Potentially the public will find this info frightening, but somehow we have survived in the presence of these natural materials (that do not go away) for eons. Low levels are probably ok. High levels should be addressed.


IIRC, all the electronics industry went to unleaded solder about 15 years ago


If you read the article, it is talking about trace elements. I suspect that even unleaded solder likely has some trace lead in it as well. Until I see the numbers, it is possible that the whole issue is nonsense due to all the numbers being trace level quantities.

Well, until companies like Hershey and Trader Joe’s get their act together, I’ve been boycotting them since the CR story broke.

Given the amount of dark chocolate I eat, I’m surprised they’re still in business.

Nothing but Mast dark chocolate (expensive, but I’m worth it) and Ghirardelli’s 86% dark chocolate for this dark chocolate lover.

Got to keep those Dementors at bay.

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Have you seen the CR numbers.

The extreme of any detectable “no safe amount” implies that most items in your grocery store will fail. This approach is likely to limit your diet a lot.

More studies are likely to follow. These elements are everywhere in trace amounts.


It would limit a lot more than that. For example, you would have to stop breathing … the air is full of trace elements.