Bakers Journal

National Confectioners Association weighs in on Consumer Reports chocolate and cocoa study

December 20, 2022
By Bakers Journal

Washington, D.C. – The National Confectioners Association has released a statement in response to a recent Consumer Reports study on chocolate and cocoa.

The study, released Dec. 15, indicated dangerous heavy metals were found in some prominent chocolate brands.

“Chocolate and cocoa are safe to eat and can be enjoyed as treats as they have been for centuries. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) guidelines cited in the Consumer Reports study are not food safety standards. An expert investigation conducted through our prior California Proposition 65 settlement concluded that cadmium and lead are present in cocoa and chocolate due to soil and that bean cleaning during processing cocoa beans reduces lead and cadmium in chocolate products. The products cited in this study are in compliance with strict quality and safety requirements, and the levels provided to us by Consumer Reports testing are well under the limits established by our settlement. Food safety and product quality remain our highest priorities and we remain dedicated to being transparent and socially responsible.”

The NCA on its website gives more background on its California Proposition 65 settlement and expert investigation/final report:


“In 2018, the chocolate and cocoa industry agreed to a Consent Judgment in California. The Superior Court of the State of California, San Francisco County granted a motion to enter the Consent Judgment on February 14, 2018, which remains in effect. The Consent Judgment established concentration levels for both lead and cadmium that supersede the OEHHA MADLs for cocoa and chocolate products. Earlier this year, we released with As You Sow a three-year study on this subject. The full report and our joint reaction can be found here.”

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