NCA’s rebuttal of concerns over dark chocolate consumption reflects key focus on consumer protection
It’s little surprise that this week has seen the National Confectioners Association make a strong statement in response to media reports that have placed dark chocolate under the spotlight, questioning whether several leading brands have produced lines that contain elevated levels of cadmium and lead.
This is a story that has already proved a saga with many twists over the past five years, with the sector recognising that some improvements could be made in processing techniques, yet the industry has asserted in the strongest possible terms that products on our shelves in the US or elsewhere around the world, do not represent a threat to our health.
As the NCA noted, the latest studies in question do not appear to have presented major fresh scientific evidence that levels of cadmium present in dark chocolate do in fact constitute a health threat – which has been backed up by the US-based Food and Drug Administration. Its own assessment has claimed that experts have determined that the amount of such heavy metals present in our confectionery are a minor source of these contaminants internationally.”
In the words of the NCA, product safety remains its highest priority, and with good reason – the market in the US remains an especially strong one, with multi-billion confectionery sales to be considered, along with major manufacturers commitments to responsible production of their core ranges.
So with this in mind, it will indeed be interesting to observe what the ultimate outcome of this scenario finds – will manufacturers move to entirely alter their production methods to avoid trace heavy metals altogether in their production chains? Only time will tell, but it is not surprising that the matter has continued to garner international headlines as the issue rumbles on. It certainly reflects consumers’ wider desire to see products that are transparent and ethically sourced in their production.
Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production
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