Hershey Sued for Metals in Dark Chocolate

    Hershey Sued for Metals in Dark Chocolate
    Last updated Dec 30, 2022
    Image credit: fox


    • Hershey Co. is being sued by a consumer accusing the confectionary giant of selling dark chocolate that contains harmful levels of lead and cadmium.[1]
    • New York resident Christopher Lazazzaro filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Hershey in a Central Islip, N.Y. federal court. Lazazzaro claims the company misled consumers by failing to disclose the quantities of lead and cadmium metals in three of their dark chocolate bars.[2]
    • The lawsuit specifically focuses on Hershey’s Special Dark bar, Lily’s 70% bar, and Lily’s 85% bar, which were high in either lead, cadmium, or both. The suit also refers to a Consumer Reports study that tested chocolate bars’ metal levels.[3]
    • The report found that 23 out of 28 dark chocolate bars studied contained metal levels that public health authorities consider harmful. Hershey’s, its subsidiary Lily’s, as well as Theo, and Trader Joe’s were notable brands with especially elevated levels.[4]
    • While the FDA doesn’t have stringent recommendations for metal intake, California does thanks to a settlement between the National Confectioners Association and the advocacy group "As You Sow." The association says manufacturers like Hershey are adhering to the settlement.[5]
    • Lazazzaro’s suit is seeking at least $5M from Hershey’s for its deceptive advertising and marketing practices.[3]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Food safety and product quality are the highest priorities for Hershey and other members of the National Confectioners Association. Hershey’s chocolates are made in strict compliance with the Association's California Proposition 65 settlement which establishes strict requirements for lead and cadmium levels. The products in question are well below any dangerous level and are safe to enjoy.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Heavy metals such as lead and cadmium are extremely dangerous to consume, and only one ounce of Hershey’s dark chocolate is well above a safe level. These metals pose a threat to children and can cause severe developmental issues. Chocolate companies must be held responsible and ensure their consumers know what they’re eating.

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