NCA, FDA Respond To Consumer Reports Article On Heavy Metals In Chocolate


Washington — The NCA has responded to an October 25, Consumer Reports article on levels of lead and cadmium in chocolate and cocoa, with the following statement: “Chocolate and cocoa are safe to eat and can be enjoyed as treats as they have been for centuries. Food safety and product quality remain our highest priorities and we remain dedicated to being transparent and socially responsible.”

The Consumer Reports article findings disregard levels previously set by the Superior Court of the State of California, San Francisco County California in 2018. At that time the chocolate and cocoa industry was granted a Consent Judgment on February 14, 2018, which remains in effect. The judgment established concentration levels for both lead and cadmium that supersede the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Maximum Allowable Dose Levels for cocoa and chocolate products. 

The FDA also responded to the article, telling Consumer Reports: “While the presence of cadmium and lead in chocolate has been the subject of considerable media attention, experts from around the world have found that chocolate is a minor source of exposure to these contaminants internationally.”

In August 2022, NCA released with As You Sow, a three-year study on this subject. The full report and its joint reaction can be found here at

The NCA also stated that consumers understand that chocolate and candy are treats. According to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Survey, people in the U.S. enjoy chocolate and candy two to three times per week, averaging just 40 calories per day and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day.