A consumer has initiated a legal battle against Hershey Co, alleging that the company is peddling dark chocolate tainted with hazardous levels of lead and cadmium.
On Wednesday, Christopher Lazazzaro filed a potential class action suit claiming that had Hershey informed consumers of the presence of metals in their products such as Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate, Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa and Lily’s Extreme Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa, he would have either not purchased them or paid less for them.
On Thursday, requests for comment from Hershey regarding the lawsuit that was filed in federal court in Central Islip, New York went unanswered.
Numerous studies imply that dark chocolate can help prevent cardiovascular disease due to its abundance of antioxidants and an overall low sugar content.
Just two weeks after Consumer Reports released the findings of their scientific analysis on 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium, Lazazzaro (a resident of Nassau County, New York) took legal action.
According to the magazine report, of the 28 tested chocolate products from Dove, Godiva, Lindt and Trader Joe’s all were identified as containing heavy metals. Unfortunately 23 chocolates revealed levels of lead or cadmium that could be dangerous if consumed by a person eating one ounce per day.
The magazine reported that both Hershey’s Special Dark bar and Lily’s 70% chocolate bar had dangerously high levels of lead, while the 85% Lily’s bar contained an unsettling amount of lead and cadmium.
According to Lazazzaro, the high levels of chemicals in Hershey’s products could be potentially hazardous for consumers and thus this would turn them off from purchasing. Consumers depend on Hershey to remain honest about what exactly is included in their items, making these levels a huge concern.
This lawsuit is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages, with each transaction bringing an additional payout of at least $500 as per New York law.
In June 2021, Hershey purchased Lily’s for a massive $425 million.
Lazazzaro’s legal team did not immediately answer queries for further information, such as whether additional lawsuits are in the works.
In Lazazzaro v. Hershey Co., a case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Case No.: 22-07923), an important legal action is unfolding which could have huge implications on our present and future societies.
It remains to be seen how the case will unfold, and what repercussions there may be.
Stay tuned for further updates on this developing story.
Shivendra Tiwari is an Engineer and an MBA in Marketing. He is the Content head at Marketing91 and a thorough Online Marketing enthusiast. Shivendra loves to follow different brands and study their Business and Marketing tactics.