I’d frequently noticed similar warning signs during my time living in California, but never on any food labels – at least not any food within my own diet. As a responsible supplier of chocolate and cocoa powder products, we at Santa Barbara Chocolate take food safety, quality and conformity with legislative and regulatory standards very seriously. Origin Lead and lead compounds also are on the Proposition 65 list because they can cause cancer. The warning label on the back of the package states that the product can expose you to lead, a heavy metal. Prop 65 is a unique California only “right to know” law that requires products sold in California to bear warning notices about potential exposure to any of the over 800 substances listed by the state. Exposure to lead during pregnancy can affect brain development and cause learning and behavior problems for the child. The reason? Lead contamination. A recent study, published in Public Health Reports, the official journal of the US Public Health Service and the US Surgeon General, described how as many as 13 different brands of turmeric-containing products have been recalled from stores around the country due to lead contamination. Unfortunately for Sunfood, their aggressiveness in railing against the guidelines further underscores the same problem we witnessed with Navitas – no clear focus on cadmium, which appears to be a much bigger culprit versus lead, particularly in products like the cacao powder Sunfood sells. open source, No one will fault Navitas for the lead and cadmium situation in cacao, nor will they likely stop eating cacao in its entirety simply because of California’s warning label on the packaging. powered by Disqus. When the samples were analyzed, scientists found more than 50% contained lead concentrations well above what is allowable by the FDA. These compounds might also reduce the activity of chemicals in the body that promote inflammation or blockage of blood vessels. As I recently sprinkled a fair amount of Navitas Organic Cacao Nibs on my morning cereal, I noticed a warning label on the bag of the packaging. They do not, however, provide any such guidance for cadmium whatsoever, and perhaps more alarmingly, they don’t disclose the cadmium and lead levels in their own products. In order to address cadmium in our diets, we of course need to know how much cadmium equals too much cadmium. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug administration. I think it’s just a personal decision you’d have to make for yourself. Furthermore, several international media outlets have reported that adulteration of turmeric with lead is a routine and ongoing problem today. Cacao nibs. Exposure to lead can harm the reproductive system of men and women. contamination, I’ve very much enjoyed the flavor of Navitas Cacao Nibs, now a regular staple in many of my mornings as a tasty, crunchy add-in to cereal or oatmeal. The original CILTEP® formula for enhanced focus, deep concentration and improved memory. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Following in a similar vein as Navitas, Sunfood takes it a step further and actually attacks Prop 65. All this information, and the usual conflicting reports, can lead to a paralysis when it comes to taking control of your health. The 2016 Affected Products The recall covers the following items. In other words, if you live by the health mantra “better safe than sorry”, then California’s guidelines will likely serve you best. Those statements certainly speak the truth, but here’s where Navitas goes slightly astray: “Many common foods have trace levels of lead and cadmium, including dairy, meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and canned or prepared foods. Confusing as all those differing parameters may be, we at least hold a measuring stick now that can help guide our chocolate choices. Manufacturers never disclose cadmium levels in their products, even when the levels trigger a warning label (more on that in a bit). “Minerals like iron, calcium, lead and cadmium are found in soil all across the globe. It carries a State of CA Prop 65 warning for this reason. However, when a local newspaper interviewed a turmeric grower in India, he revealed that lead is added deliberately to hide imperfections or marks of pest attacks. Add some to your favorite pancake batter to create an energizing breakfast. Navitas has a course of study for you. In the meantime, until more testing takes place, both for documenting cadmium levels in cacao and for assessing the true potential damage to our health, your best course of action appears to be gradual levels of caution based on product, with cacao powders first, cacao nibs second, and then your chocolate itself a very distant third. Consuming this product can expose you to lead, which is known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Dark chocolate contains these cocoa solids, but also includes cocoa butter and sugar, which can make up a substantial portion of the chocolate, reducing the concentration of cadmium. This could lead to lower blood pressure. Of the 13 brands recalled, samples had lead concentrations between 28 - 48 ppm, well above the upper allowable limit. What I uncovered shocked the heck outta me, on multiple fronts, so let’s take a closer look…. You’re less likely to run into cadmium concerns eating chocolate itself versus cacao powders – great news for chocolate, not so great news for cacao powder. Filed under: What's worse, the study also mentions several cases of child lead poisoning in the United States resulting from the consumption of spices -- including turmeric. However, this does not fully explain the higher cadmium in cocoa powders. Would that be safe to drink? As they continue…, “Among dark chocolate bars, our tests revealed that two popular bars to be contaminated with cadmium at several times established limits. That leaves a few big questions still to answer, however. Choose from hundreds of majors, at one of our 120 colleges in 31 countries worldwide. Step one in that situation of course is to chase down the facts. The contaminated products contained 2.8 mcg to 23.7 mcg of cadmium per suggested serving. Helpful. Then there’s the outlier that kicked off this entire investigation – the state of California. Unlock EVERYTHING We’ve EVER Published, with a FREE Ultimate Guide, all for one shockingly low price... As You Sow – https://www.asyousow.org/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/toxic-chocolate/#chocolate-tables, BerkeleyWellness.com – https://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food-safety/article/there-cadmium-your-cocoa, ConsumerLab.com – https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/, Navitas Prop 65 – https://www.navitasorganics.com/prop-65, Sunfoods Prop 65 – https://www.sunfood.com/sunfood-prop-65/. CC Club Fly-In Navitas is ranked as “Fastest Growing Firm” by Inc. 5000 for five Consecutive Years, and “Top Business in 2013” by Diversity Business. Call Us Toll-Free at (800) 404-6977, click here to view Navitas response to Prop 65, https://www.asyousow.org/environmental-health/toxic-enforcement/toxic-chocolate/#chocolate-tables, https://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food-safety/article/there-cadmium-your-cocoa, https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/, Healthy Chocolate: Five Ways to Add Healthy Chocolate to Your Diet, Marisa’s Chocolate Adventure: More Than Just a Label – Preview. Chocolate Offer Sidebar Widget This warning has absolutely zero effect within CA. Viva Naturals Cacao Powder is unprocessed, retaining important nutrients li… Maca powder has a pungent, sweet nutty taste with hints of butterscotch. We’re reaching out to Navitas for comment and will pass along an update if we receive a response. Why? It’s less helpful and less noticeable than “exit” signs. We always love diving into the positive health effects stemming from our favorite food, but we’d also be remiss to not mention any health concerns in the chocolate world as well. Digging a little deeper, I uncovered the cadmium and lead risks, and also found entire online communities of men looking out for their health together by getting blood tests done, or hair tests, to monitor levels of heavy metals in their system, among other things, and then sharing the results of their health journeys. Here’s the core quote on the matter from ConsumerLab.com –, “Cocoa powders, chocolates, and other products made from cacao beans can be rich in flavanols — which may help with blood flow, blood pressure, memory, cholesterol levels. Similarly, for any naturally-occurring cadmium in plant-based foods, only about 4% is actually absorbed (source: Essential Living Foods).”. 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