CHOCOHOLICS ARISE! Get the lead out…of chocolate!

John Shirley
1 min readMar 6, 2023


“Consumer Reports found dangerous heavy metals in chocolate from Hershey’s, Theo, Trader Joe’s, and other popular brands.” Lead poisoning from chocolates? It’s quite real.

The lead and cadmium in chocolate scandal led me–a sad, dissolute chocoholic–to ask what’s the safest chocolate, and how they can get the lead out. “Safest” brands, those with the lowest contamination of lead and cadmium, are Mast, Ghirardelli, & Taza — but why have ANY dangerous metals in cocoa? There must be a solution.

For starts, I suggest that manufacturers/ growers:

  1. Find alternative growing areas, as the metals are coming into the plants from the soil.

2. Breed cocoa trees that don’t uptake lead and cadmium.

3. Find ways to extract lead and other toxins from chocolate.

4. Look for ways to reduce lead contamination during drying and processing.

If you wish to ask the chocolate manufacturers to do something about lead in chocolate for your sake, as well as your children and grandchildren, you can write to The National Confectioners Association at ask them, “Why have ANY dangerous metals in cocoa? Spend the money, do the research, find a solution!”


Start the movement and chant, “Get the lead out, Chocolate Makers! Why wait? Get the lead out of chocolate now!”



John Shirley

Author of numerous novels, including Demons, City Come A-Walkin’, Stormland and the A Song Called Youth Cyberpunk trilogy. Winner of the Bram Stoker Award.