Icelandic Government to Ban Imports of Latin American Cacao Products, Levy Fines Against Businesses Engaging in Retail of Newly Banned Substance


During an emergency session yesterday, the Icelandic alþingi introduced legislation which has left many restaurateurs in the sparsely-populated island in shock, moving to ban the sale of cacao and other natural, dark chocolate products.

Björn Leví Gunnarsson, a member of the Pirate Party, decried the newly-passed legislation as an affront to democracy, stating that "this legislation was clearly passed at the behest of big business interests who want to monopolize the chocolate market with their own products, many of which are produced under deplorable conditions."

Ásmundur Einar Daðason, a member of the Progressive Party, disagreed with remarks made by his colleagues in parliament, stressing that "the legislation was passed in response to recent reports that chocolate contains high contents of cadmiun and lead."

A recent article in the New York Times, "Do I Need to Avoid Dark Chocolate Now?" quoted Melissa Melough, an assistant professor of behavioral health and nutrition at the University of Delaware, wherein she stressed that, “if you’re a regular consumer of these dark chocolates, I would be concerned,”

The jury isn't out yet on how this decision will be received by the Icelandic public, but one regular consumer of cacao told Abreu Report: "They [the Icelandic government] have a complete monopoly on alcohol sales, and this appears to be yet another attempt by the government to monopolize the sale of a product that is beloved by many people who enjoy its healing energy. This appears to be nothing but a cash grab by the government, and I'm disappointed in the fact that I'll have to buy my cacao at Vínbúðin now."