October 25, 2023
An important message from the Hu Team
Hu Response to media article published on October 25, 2023:
To our incredible HUmans and cherished community,
We’ve received messages from you following a recent story in the media referencing Hu Dark Chocolate Baking Gems. While we’ve connected with many of you directly, we felt it was important to share a note with our broader Hu community.
We recognize that the story may have been concerning to you. First and foremost, we want to reassure you that you and your families have nothing to be concerned about when eating Hu Dark Chocolate Baking Gems.
As a brand founded on a commitment to health and wellbeing, and a passion for how our human-centric philosophy guides us every step of the way, it is paramount that we provide you with safe and delicious products for you to enjoy and that we are open and forthcoming in our communications.
We are writing this on behalf of our entire Hu family to help address any concerns and help put you and your families at ease. Thank you for the opportunity to address what was written about Hu.
The “Test Methodology” used in this piece incorrectly relies on the Proposition 65 Maximum Allowable Dose Levels (MADLs) for lead and cadmium as the “acceptable threshold” for heavy metals in dark chocolate – versus correctly relying on the California State Consent Judgement with “As You Sow.” The California State Consent Judgment governing lead and cadmium in chocolate was approved by a California court and the California Attorney General in 2018 and supersedes the MADLs referenced in the coverage for dark chocolate products sold in California.
Hu confirms that we comply (by a very large margin) with all applicable standards, including those in the California State Consent judgment, which are far-stricter than both the FDA and European Regulations. As quoted in the Consumer Reports article itself by the FDA, “experts from around the world have found that chocolate is a minor source of exposure to these contaminants internationally."
In addition, we have testing protocols in place to monitor the naturally-occurring trace amounts of heavy metals found in our chocolate to ensure we are only bringing product to the market that is well below any applicable standard’s limit and is safe to consume.
Thank you for your loyalty and for being the best part about Hu!
For additional reference, please see our response on this topic to a related story from last year (December 2022) below.
- Hu Team
December 22, 2022
An Important Message From The Hu Team
To our cherished Hu Community,
In the past few days, we’ve received messages from a number of you following a recent news story referencing Hu dark chocolate. We’ve connected with many of you directly, but we felt it was important to share our perspective with you, our broader Hu community.
We know the story that mentioned Hu dark chocolate was concerning to you. It was also deeply disturbing and frustrating to us. As a brand that was founded on a commitment to health and wellbeing learnings and a passion for human-centric philosophy, nothing is more important to us than being open and providing you with safe and delicious products.
We are writing this – from all members of the Hu team – to explain a bit about the media coverage, address your concerns, and put you and your families at ease. We appreciate the chance to address what was written about Hu.
Most importantly, you and your families have nothing to be concerned about eating Hu chocolate.
- By a very large margin, Hu chocolate easily complies with: (i) the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) safety limits; (ii) European Union safety limits; and (iii) the far-stricter requirements of a 2018 California State court judgment.
- Chocolate — especially dark chocolate — contains trace amounts of naturally-occurring heavy metals that originate from the soil in which the cacao trees are planted, similar to many other crops grown in soil, including sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots. This is nothing new and has been a part of the chocolate world for ages, as the cacao tree’s roots absorb what’s naturally-occurring in the soil. The higher the percentage of cacao in a chocolate product, the more likely there will be naturally-occurring trace amounts of heavy metals. This does not mean that our chocolate is unsafe to eat.
- Given Hu’s compliance with the requirements and safety limits outlined above, we understand that you may still be asking: “But where did the numbers shown in the media story specific to Hu chocolate come from?”
- In response to this question, the specific media story compared levels of lead and cadmium with the media outlet’s interpretation of levels set forth in a California State regulation known as “California Proposition 65,” which is the same broad regulation with a history of requiring California coffee shops to put warnings on their coffee; hotels to post warnings in their lobbies; amusement parks to post warnings at their entrances; and retailers to place warning labels on luggage.
- The story’s interpretation of California Proposition 65 suggests naturally-occurring trace amounts of lead levels that are significantly lower than the safety limits set forth by the FDA, the European Union, and the far-stricter 2018 California State court judgment. Specifically:
- 98% lower than European Union regulations;
- 96% lower than FDA regulations; and
- 89% lower than the far-stricter 2018 California State court judgment
- The California State court judgment requires dark chocolate sold in California to have lead levels less than 0.150 micrograms per gram of chocolate (a microgram is equal to one millionth of a gram). Hu dark chocolate was measured in the media coverage at a lead level of 0.035 micrograms per gram of chocolate. So, Hu is 77% below the level required by the already far-stricter California State court judgment.
- We at Hu, like other chocolate manufacturers, continue to look for ways to reduce the naturally-occurring trace amounts of heavy metals in our products. But, even as we do this, it is not because our chocolate is unsafe to eat.
- We jointly work with our suppliers to monitor the naturally-occurring trace amounts of heavy metals in our chocolate to ensure we comply with all safety standards, including those in the far-stricter California State court judgment.
Thank you for sharing your concerns, giving us the chance to respond to you, and continuing to be part of our Hu community. We hope this information puts you and your families at ease.
Wishing you all the joys of the holiday season,
The Hu Team