Hershey has been sued by a US consumer who alleges the company has sold chocolate containing harmful levels of lead and cadmium, according to Reuters.
The lawsuit was filed in New York on 28 December by Christopher Lazazzaro, who claims he would not have bought Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate, Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa or Lily’s Extreme Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa had the company disclosed its metals content.
The suit came two weeks after Consumer Reports published the results of its scientific testing on 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium.
The article reported that 23 bars, including from Dove, Godiva, Lindt and Trader Joe’s, contained potentially harmful levels of lead and cadmium. Hershey’s Special Dark bar and Lily’s 70% bar were reportedly high in lead, and Lily’s 85% bar was high in lead and cadmium, exceeding California standards for the maximum allowable dose level (MADL) for both metals.
Lazazzaro said that consumers would be turned off by such levels because they pose a “serious health risk”. He also claims that Hershey’s advertising and marketing are “false, deceptive and misleading” because they do not disclose information about these potentially harmful metals.
The lawsuit seeks $5 million of damages, including at least $500 per transaction under the New York law.
Hershey bought Lily’s for $425 million in June 2021.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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