Don’t Put Dangerous Dark Chocolate on the Shelves

Target: Dan Bane, CEO of Trader Joe’s

Goal: Better monitor dark chocolate for unacceptable levels of cadmium and lead.

Dark chocolate is a popular snack choice not only on Valentine’s Day but any time of year for its purported health benefits over traditional chocolate. New research, however, suggests that potentially harmful levels of heavy metal are within many commercially available brands. A study from Consumer Reports found levels of lead and cadmium that reportedly exceed the allowable threshold for each substance in 23 of 28 tested dark chocolate bars.

This finding matters because unhealthy exposure to these metals may cause illnesses and conditions including lung problems, kidney damage, hypertension, and reproductive or birth defects. The biggest risk for dark chocolate toxicity comes during the process when wet cocoa beans used in its creation are dried and sometimes come in contact with certain contaminating services. If these companies ensured that their providers adopted Good Agricultural Practices, a voluntary audit that verifies adherence to the recommendations made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they could eliminate possible dangers posed to consumers.

Instead, they are digging in and insisting they are already meeting standards. Sign the petition below to demand the company behind the chocolate with the highest reported levels of these heavy metals address and correct this issue at once.


Dear Mr. Bane,

This organization is reportedly being sued by consumers because its dark chocolate bars, according to studies, far exceed acceptable levels of cadmium and especially lead. The dark chocolate industry already previously reached a settlement to rein in these possible toxins, and this agreement needs to be honored. The health risks for consumers are too immense to ignore or deny the problem.

Please work in close coordination with your agriculture providers to ensure they are adopting the safest practices to prevent lead transmission during the drying, fermentation, and transportation processes. And implement a more rigorous vetting procedure on the final product for the sake of your loyal customers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: MX Granger


  1. josie olive says:

    Trader Joe’s should know better but it is all about the money. They are off my list as well as Amazon

  2. Nobody really cares about the consumer. Companies seem to be able to claim whatever they want. I don’t feel that we are protected by any government organization. It’s all about the money. Take Roundup for example. Many countries have banned this chemical, but not the US, even though it has been proven to cause cancer. And now we have GMO crops that can not be killed by it, so we can ingest even more of it on and in our vegetables and fruits. It has even been used on some organic oats as a desiccant when the crop isn’t drying quick enough for harvest! And now we have to worry about our chocolate too?!! We all need to protect ourselves. Get informed and get involved.

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