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The Hershey Company recently announced that their Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Chocolate Bars will now come mostly GMO-Free. They also announced plans to revamp their ingredients, listing fewer items and including only all-natural components. This means there will be no artificial ingredients in either Hershey’s Kisses or Chocolate bars. The company claims this giant step will eventually span out to include most of Hershey’s chocolate products.
A recent consumer health report by California’s As You Sow organization announced that there were high levels of lead and cadmium in various chocolate products. In the report, Hershey’s Kisses were one of 13 different chocolate bars that did not contain either of the dangerous heavy metals. Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups was the other Hershey’s product that did not contain dangerous levels of cadmium or lead. The world’s premier chocolate maker aims to take on “simplicity and transparency” in order to encourage the public that they will tackle problems found in chocolates produced under their artisan brand names.
According to the As You Sow report, artisan Hershey’s Scharffen Berger Semisweet Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate, the brand’s extra fine chocolate and Dagoba Organic New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate contain unsafe levels of both lead and cadmium. There was no announcement about when these products would follow the grain of the more popular brands and switch to all-natural ingredients in order to omit both lead and cadmium. Since Hershey only recently acquired these brands, the public needs to give them time to make the required changes.
Hershey’s going all-natural means the label will be filled with recognizable ingredients such as sugar, milk, chocolate and cocoa butter. Ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, lactose, vanillin and polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGR will be gone from the label. High fructose corn syrup suppresses leptin in the body, which prevents it from ever feeling full. Lactose is a natural sugar, but can cause allergic reactions in some. Vanillin is an artificial flavor commonly used in many products. PGR is a chemical emulsifier, another artificial ingredient. Hershey’s going GMO-Free means that those all-natural ingredients will not be subject to genetic manipulation.
Hershey’s rival Nestle has recently announced they would remove artificial ingredients from their products and commentators speculate that Hershey’s is merely following their lead. In the As You Sow report, Nestle’s Milk Crunch and Ovaltine Malt Mix were on the list of chocolates that did not contain unsafe levels of cadmium and lead. Additionally, none of Nestle’s other products were listed among those with lead and cadmium present. Both Hershey’s and Nestle’s intend to drop artificial ingredients from their product list by the end of 2015.
Hershey’s Chocolate is making the extra step to go GMO-Free; this is great news to consumers who were concerned with the presence of genetically modified products in their foodstuffs. Some were rallying to boycott the popular chocolate maker because of the problems inherent with using genetically modified ingredients. According to some reports, genetically modified products can alter the gut health of the body. Genetically modified foods kill bees which pollinate the flower from honey that we eat. Additionally, farmers can not harvest the seeds of genetically modified plants.
By Danielle Branch