This might rain on your Valentine’s Day parade: Consumer Reports finds toxic metals in many of your favorite candy bars—specifically dark chocolate only, which may have a dark side you never expected.
From cherries to caramel, nuts to nuggets, everyone has a favorite variety of chocolate. No matter which is your go-to, Forrest Gump may have said it best: With a box of chocolates, “you never know what you’re going to get.”
Researchers have now found something we never expected when we unwrapped our chocolate: toxic metals in every single bar of dark chocolate they tested.
Testing by scientists with Consumer Reports revealed 28 bars made by popular brands, including Hershey’s and Lindt, tested positive for lead and cadmium. Excessive quantities of heavy metals have been linked to lung issues, memory problems and cancer.
For 23 of the bars, the Consumer Reports researchers said that eating just one ounce a day would put an adult over a level that public health authorities say may be harmful. Five of the chocolates tested were above those levels for both cadmium and lead.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up dark chocolate altogether. The report also found safer choices: Mast, Taza, Ghirardelli and Valrhona.
There is no national limit on lead and cadmium in chocolate bars set by the FDA, but the amount of lead in one ounce exceeds a maximum allowable dose level established in California If you’re picking up any dark chocolate bars for your valentine, don’t assume organic dark chocolate is any better in this respect.