Hershey’s Chocolate Found to have 4X Higher Levels of Glyphosate than YouTuber, MrBeast’s Chocolate
Two months ago, the second most popular YouTube creator in America, a 23-year-old known as MrBeast, launched a line of chocolates with a Willy Wonka-style golden ticket in the wrapper. The lucky ticket holder will win one million dollars. After ten years of making videos, MrBeast has close to 100 million followers. His fans are primary teens and early twenty-something who flock to his channel to see his latest antics, primarily consisting of giving away money and challenging himself and his fans. He is a humorous young man with what many teens call “a good heart,” doing things like funding the planting of trees, paying people’s rent, and giving money and cars away. His choice to make two out of four of the ingredients for his chocolates organic was a welcome surprise that we at Moms Across America applaud. Sixteen-year-old Bodee Honeycutt brought this line of chocolate to our attention, saying, “We should test MrBeast's chocolate for glyphosate to show that using organic ingredients is better.”
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide globally and has been found in thousands of food and beverage samples. Over 287 million pounds of glyphosate were used on agriculture crops in the USA in 2016 alone. It is used as a weed killer directly on GMO crops, around non-GMO crops like cacao and almonds, and as a drying agent on non-GMO, non-organic crops such as peas, beans, wheat, sugar, and animal feed. Once considered safe, hundreds of studies now show that glyphosate is a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor and causes liver and kidney disease. It has also been linked to nerve damage, autism, the masculinization of female rats, and sperm damage. Glyphosate destroys beneficial gut bacteria, disrupting the hormonal system, impacting digestion, and weakens the immune system.
Knowing that glyphosate is contaminating our food supply and affects our health, Bodee had a hypothesis. “I bet the results will show that MrBeast's chocolate is almost as good as 100% organic, and if he went organic, the levels would be even lower.” He was interested in letting millions of young people know about the benefits of organic, as his health had significantly improved when he went organic. We were too.
Moms Across America sent four brands of chocolate to be tested for glyphosate herbicide. The brands were MrBeast Chocolate made by Feastables, Hershey, Godiva, and Theo Organic Chocolate. The results were exactly what the MrBeast fan suspected.
The lowest level of glyphosate was in the organic chocolate bar, Theo’s Organic Salted Almond chocolate, which had 2.05 ppb of glyphosate, including AMPA, the breakdown of glyphosate.
MrBeast's glyphosate levels were also low, almost just as low as the certified organic brand, ranging from 3.29, 3.70, and 3.16, respectively, for the three chocolate bars tested: Original, Almond, and Quinoa Crunch, only about one ppb higher than organic.
However, Godiva Milk Chocolate had 6.61 ppb of glyphosate and AMPA, nearly 2X more. And Hershey's Special Dark with Almonds had 13.82 ppb of glyphosate and AMPA, over 4X more than MrBeast's brand.
Here are the lab results of testing with full-spectrum molecular testing from accredited Health Research Institute Laboratories
While any level of glyphosate and AMPA is of concern, we are glad to see that MrBeast's choice to use organic ingredients made a significant difference in the test results. The sad truth is that because of drift and runoff from highly sprayed areas, glyphosate is everywhere. Therefore, it is important to consume food with the lowest possible levels.
How and why is a 23-year-old YouTuber, who is new to the chocolate scene, able to put out a line of chocolate that is safer than mega chocolate companies like Hershey and Godiva?
As we see it, the answer is all about the choice of ingredients. MrBeast chose mostly organic ingredients and came very close to the same results as organic. The YouTube influencer has reported on his website that the reason he chose mostly organic ingredients is because he has Crohn's disease and organic supports his gut health issues. He could have selected cheap, toxic ingredients, but he didn’t. In choosing 2 out of 4 organic ingredients, he also shows his followers the importance of organic. For this, we commend him.
The test results show that choosing organic chocolate and cacao butter reduces glyphosate residues. They also indicate that the slightly higher (1 ppb) amount of glyphosate found in MrBeast’s chocolate compared to the organic bar is from either or both non-organic sugar or non-organic sunflower lecithin.
Theo’s Organic Salted Almond Chocolate Bar Ingredients with 2.05 ppb of glyphosate and AMPA:
Sunflower seed and sugar cane or sugar beet crops can be sprayed with glyphosate as a pre-harvest desiccant or drying agent to dry the crop before harvest, making the sunflower products not organic. They could, however, still be called “Natural.”
However, organic chocolate ingredients make a huge difference. According to Dr. Don Huber, a 50-year plant pathologist, these results and other studies of plants show that conventional chocolate growing practices, which include spraying around the base of cocoa plants to prevent weed growth, do result in the uptake of glyphosate into the beans of the plant. Avoiding cacao from plantations that use these practices would prevent consumers from ingesting this harmful herbicide and prevent the farm laborers from being exposed to it, reducing cancer and reproductive, liver and kidney damage. If chocolate manufacturers insisted on organic practices, the chocolate industry could be leaders in health, labor practices, and environmental improvements.
Ingredients for MrBeast Original Chocolate Bar with 3.29 ppb of glyphosate and AMPA:
The higher results in the Almond bar indicate that the farming practices for growing almonds, including spraying glyphosate on the ground in between the trees, result in uptake into the nuts.
Ingredients of MrBeast Almond Chocolate Bar with 3.70 ppb pf glyphosate and AMPA:
MrBeast Quinoa Crunch Bar ingredients at 3.16 ppb of glyphosate and AMPA:
The lowest levels of glyphosate in the MrBeast bars were found in the Quinoa Crunch Chocolate bar. It should be noted that this level was only 1.11 higher than organic, a very small difference. The source of the slightly higher level may be the non-organic sugar or sunflower lecithin. Further testing is required to determine the source.
Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds Ingredients at 13.82 ppb:
Hershey’s bar contains ingredients the other bars do not contain:
PGPR, the full name of polyglycerol polyricinoleate, is a highly processed ingredient derived from either castor and vegetable glycerol or animal fats (so it may or may not be vegan, and that is not disclosed on the label) commonly used as a water-in-oil type (W/O) emulsifier in chocolate and chocolate-type confectionary to reduce the viscosity in production. It is a Polyglycerol Ester (PGE) with the European food additive number E476. Consumers have reported side effects from eating foods with PGPR.
Natural flavors in chocolate are unknown and do not need to be disclosed.
- Alkali is a soluble salt obtained from the ashes of plants ( are they GMO? Sprayed with glyphosate and other pesticides? We don’t know...) and consists largely of potassium or sodium carbonate.
It should be noted that milk can contain glyphosate due to the cow's consumption of GMO grains sprayed with glyphosate during the growing process as a weedkiller. Glyphosate could also be present in the milk because both non-GMO or GMO animal feed grains can be sprayed with glyphosate herbicide as a drying agent before harvest and have shown to have high levels of glyphosate residues.
In comparison, however, the Godiva Milk Chocolate bar, which contained milk but no almonds, had less than half of the amount of glyphosate and AMPA. This points to almonds being a major contributing factor of glyphosate as well. According to farmer educators, almond farming and cocoa farming practices (nonorganic), which both often include glyphosate use, are most likely the source of glyphosate contamination.
Questions remain, and more samples need to be tested to discern the exact sources of the glyphosate. We need to test 40 samples from a food industry’s products to have statistically significant numbers. To donate to support our work for further testing, please click here.
Moms Across America applaud the efforts of the smaller companies, Theo Organic chocolates and MrBeast Chocolates, for making organic chocolate that is safer for consumption. One must wonder why behemoth chocolate manufacturers Hershey and Godiva, with far greater resources, would make anything other than organic chocolate?
We ask Hershey and all chocolate makers to insist that their suppliers switch to organic practices and remediate the soil or source from farmers who do not use glyphosate or toxic chemicals.
Making this change will protect consumers, farm laborers, and the environment. We also ask them to test for pesticides contamination and be vigilant in producing safe chocolate products.
Moms Across America is seeking funds to test a statistically significant number (40) of samples of foods that greatly impact our health - not just for glyphosate, but the top 203 most widely used pesticides, heavy metals, and the food's nutrient content as well. This extensive and essential sample testing will cost about $1000 per sample. Our food supply must be safe, nontoxic, and nutritious for the safety of the current and future generations. Donate today for further testing, which will improve the safety of the food supply around the world.