Hershey Is Being Sued In The United States For A Metal In Dark Chocolate Claim

Hershey’s has been sued in the United States on allegations that it sells products containing harmful levels of metal. Christopher Lazazzaro filed the lawsuit, alleging that the company misled consumers by failing to disclose the amounts of lead and cadmium in three dark chocolate bars.

He claimed that if he had known, he would not have purchased the products. Hershey’s did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

According to some studies, the antioxidants and low sugar content of dark chocolate may help prevent heart disease.

However, the lawsuit makes reference to recent findings by Consumer Reports (CR), which tested 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium.

According to the magazine, 23 of them, including Hershey’s, Godiva, and Lindt chocolate, contained “comparatively higher levels” of the metals.

“For 23 of the bars, eating just an ounce (28g) a day would put an adult over a level that public health authorities and CR’s experts say may be harmful for at least one of those heavy metals,” it claimed.

Hershey’s Special Dark bar and Lily’s 70% bar were particularly high in lead, while Lily’s 85% bar was high in both lead and cadmium.

“Any food can contain heavy metals if they are present in the soil in high concentration,” nutritionist Sheeba Majmudar said.

“Currently there are no food laws stating that all food batches need to be tested – until they make you sick. While no level of toxins is safe, it is always the ‘buyer beware’ slogan that comes to mind,” she added.

Lazazzaro’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York on Wednesday, claims that he would not have purchased or desired to pay less for the Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate, Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa, and Lily’s Extreme Dark Chocolate bars.

Hershey bought low-sugar treat maker Lily’s last June, calling it “a great addition to Hershey’s growing portfolio of better-for-you snacking brands”.

“Consumers rely on [Hershey] to be truthful regarding the ingredients,” the lawsuit argues.

It adds that “people are concerned with what is in the food that they are putting into their bodies,” while parents and caregivers are “concerned with what they are feeding to children in their care”.

In the proposed class action lawsuit, Lazazzaro seeks at least $5 million in damages from Hershey.

(Adapted from BBC.com)

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