Hershey was sued by a consumer who accused the company of selling dark chocolate containing harmful levels of lead and cadmium.
In a class action proposal filed Wednesday, Christopher Lazazzaro said he would not have purchased or paid less for Hershey’s Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate, Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa and Lily’s Extreme Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa if Hershey had disclosed their metals. content.
Hershey did not immediately respond Thursday to requests for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Central Islip, NY.
Some studies suggest that the antioxidants and relatively low sugar levels in dark chocolate may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Lazazzaro, a Nassau County resident, sued two weeks after Consumer Reports released the results of scientific testing of 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium.
The magazine said while all 28 contained heavy metals, 23, including chocolate from Dove, Godiva, Lindt and Trader Joe’s, contained potentially harmful levels of lead, cadmium or both for people who eat an ounce. of chocolate per day.
Hershey’s Special Dark bar and Lily’s 70% bar were high in lead, and Lily’s 85% bar was high in lead and cadmium, according to the magazine.
Lazazzaro said reasonable consumers would be discouraged by such levels because they pose a “serious health risk” and consumers rely on Hershey to be honest about the ingredients in its products.
The lawsuit seeks at least $5 million in damages, including at least $500 per transaction under New York law.
Hershey bought Lily’s for $425 million in June 2021.
Lazazzaro’s attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment, including on whether further lawsuits are planned.