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

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