Consumer group As You Sow has notified the state of California that a number of chocolate manufacturers are allegedly selling chocolate with levels of lead and cadmium that exceed limits set by the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Prop. 65). Testing by the organization allegedly indicated that 35 of the 50 chocolate products sampled—including those from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Godiva and Lindt, among others—contained enough lead or cadmium to trigger Prop. 65 warning requirements. As You Sow has filed 60-day notices with 18 manufacturers based on its testing; following the 60-day period, the organization may initiate litigation against the companies if public officials have not sought enforcement of the statute.
“Lead and cadmium accumulate in the body, so avoiding exposure is important, especially for children,” As You Sow President Danielle Fugere said in a March 23, 2016, press release. “Our goal is to work with chocolate manufacturers to find ways to avoid these metals in their products.”