Do You Know What’s In Your Candy?

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

M&M's Candy

There’s a reason that people are searching for, buying and growing organic produce. It’s a matter of good health and supporting a clean and GREEN environment. People are finally learning the truth, that genetically modified foods are dangerous.

These genetically modified foods that chemists are “designing” are not tested over any significant length of time. They are introduced into our food supply, in our stores and often time with no disclosure requirements for labeling. Generally, they’re not pulled from the shelves until they have done significant damage to consumers’ health, and usually on a large scale.

You may have heard about this, but concern for what companies are passing off to us cannot be overstated. At the start of this year, American Crystal Sugar Company bragged about breaking their company records for having the best 2 years of harvesting in 2006 and 2007. They projected similar possibilities for the 2008 sugar producing crops because of their plans to use Monsanto’s new Roundup Ready® XBeet in conjunction with new pesticides and improved fungicides.

Here’s the thing: In 2001, American Crystal Sugar Company along with M&M/Mars and Hershey’s agreed to use natural sugar instead of the sugar from genetically engineered sugar beets. They have deceived us all and are breaking their promises – I guess they thought people would forget. Not only have people not forgotten, but they’re not happy about it.

Not only do these companies use contaminated sugar but have used child slave labor for cocoa harvesting. Two major firms that dominate the chocolate industry are M&M/Mars and Hershey’s. Between the two of them, they have cornered two-thirds of the chocolate market. That’s two-thirds of a $13 billion industry. Key issues regarding the two companies are:

  1. They both use crops that are genetically modified or engineered.
  2. They purchase large quantities of cocoa from the Ivory Coast.

What’s Wrong With Ivory Coast Cocoa?

Ivory Coast cocoa farms use child slave labor in part or in whole to work their farms. The largest U.S. chocolate producer, Hershey Foods Corp seemed to know nothing of this, stating that they were “deeply concerned” & “shocked” about the use of child slave labor. Some of the candies that Hershey Foods Corp produces include: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Kisses and Nuggets, and the Hershey chocolate bar.

Next time you purchase their products, think about this – would you buy a candy bar if the label said: “consuming this candy bar may cause cancer – contains sugar from genetically engineered beets, cocoa harvested by child slaves, and harmful pesticides and fungicides”?

I don’t think so. It’s time to send a message to these disease-causing food companies, and keep sending the message until it’s heard:

  • We won’t accept broken promises.
  • We wont support the toxic production of sugar and candy using genetic modification, harmful pesticides and fungicides.
  • We won’t purchase your toxic sugar and candy which is poisoning adults and children.

How Can I Make My Voice Heard?

I’ve found that when companies don’t listen to your words, they’ll be responsive to where you spend (or don’t spend) your money. If a company doesn’t sell high quality environmentally friendly products, then I’m not going to buy from them.

As it stands, the numbers for organic food purchasing are increasing annually by about 20%, from as far back as 1990 [1]. And the focus on having good health and pesticide-free non-genetically modified foods is only broadening. Eventually the farmers/scientists who want to produce their toxic vegetation will notice they’ve lost a significant segment of their market [2].

Put Your Money Where Your Health Is

When enough people, who are concerned about their health and well-being, spend their money only on safe products, that will send a message loud and clear to these profit based disease-causing companies. Think about it: The reason grocery stores started selling organic produce and range-fed meat and poultry is because they saw that they were losing customers to health food stores and other health vendors.

Another way that you can send a message is to do just that; send an email or letter or make a phone call. Let these companies know that you’re not at all interested in purchasing their products if they’re going to try to poison you.

You can get more detailed information at the CrystalSugar website. The other entry you may want to review is the AG NOTES #505 [3].

References (3)
  1. Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Organic Food Trends.
  2. Journal of Food Distribution Research. Organic Food Adoption Decisions (PDF).
  3. American Crystal Sugar Company. AG Notes #505.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Susan Smith

    I was disappointed to read your posting as generalizations and accusations were made without knowing the facts.

    On behalf of the chocolate/cocoa industry, we have been working to make a difference in the lives of those children who work on cocoa farms, but while there’s been great progress with our efforts, we acknowledge that there is still much to be done.

    There are more than two million family-run cocoa farms in West Africa and most of them have children who help out as members of the family. Without question, there are serious issues: children helping out instead of attending school, child injuries due to kids undertaking unsafe tasks.

    But there is progress being made. On July 1, 2008, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana (the world’s two largest cocoa producers) made separate announcements that they have put a certification system in place across an area that produces at least 50 percent of their cocoa. In both countries, the data collection element of the certification system has been completed and reports detailing the preliminary results of these surveys by the respective countries can be found here for Ghana and here for Cote d’Ivoire.

    In addition, there are organizations such as the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) that is supported by more than 70 chocolate companies (including my employer – the National Confectioners Association). WCF has been able to create and develop the public private partnerships that are needed to address the issues on cocoa farms. For example, WCF is working with cocoa farming families worldwide and has succeeded in securing more money for cocoa farmers’ crops (25 to 55 percent) by showing them more effective, sustainable farming techniques and co-operative development. The WCF’s “farmer field schools” approach empowers farmers through education – creating lasting, widespread change.

    Finally, if you buy fair trade or any other labels on your chocolate, there is no guarantee that their chocolate was produced without any type of abusive labor practice.

    Through actions such as the certification system in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, we are making progress on making a difference in the lives of those children who work on cocoa farms

    I would encourage you and your readers to learn more about the efforts the chocolate/cocoa industry has taken to change the labor practices on cocoa farms by visiting

    Susan Smith
    National Confectioners Association

  • Hi Susan,

    Thank you for your comments and the actions you are taking to protect the children. Please keep me updated on your progress so I can update our readers.

    Dr. Group

  • Susan,

    Thanks so much! Keep up the good work.

  • That’s crazy. It’s ridiculous that people and companies are so selfish that they are willing to cause cancer and other major health issues all to make and save money. We need things like this to come out into the open more so us as consumers can demand a change.

  • Lexi

    I noticed that in your article that you only posted the “bad” stuff. While I agree that all the points made should be fixed, you should also add more. After all, there are TWO sides to every story.

  • Can you tell if it is organic?

  • dotty

    Thank you!! I will be sharing this along with other interesting facts to my kids at the Kids’ Chef Academy through my organization, Moms IN Charge !!

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