High levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate products raise alarm

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IBNS: Consumer Reports, a non-profit advocacy group, has conducted a study revealing high levels of lead and cadmium in a third of the tested chocolate products, media reports said.

The organisation has urged Hershey, a major U.S. chocolate manufacturer, to decrease the content of these heavy metals in its products, Reuters reported.

The study included 48 items across seven categories, with 16 found to contain potentially harmful levels of lead, cadmium, or both.

Long-term exposure to these metals can lead to serious health issues.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration asserts that chocolate is a “minor source of exposure,” but emphasises manufacturers’ responsibility for food safety.

This study follows a previous report by Consumer Reports in December last year, which similarly highlighted excessive lead or cadmium in dark chocolate bars.

Consumer Reports is now requesting Hershey to reduce heavy metals in its chocolate.

Hershey’s CFO, Steve Voskuil, acknowledged the natural occurrence of these metals in chocolate due to soil elements and stated the company’s commitment to minimising the levels.