Trader Joe's wins legal victory after judge issues decision in dark chocolate lawsuit

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A lawsuit accusing Trader Joe’s of failing to disclose that its dark chocolate products contain dangerous “heavy metals” was mostly dismissed by a judge on Wednesday.

The proposed class action lawsuit, which involved 17 law firms, argued that some of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate products contain unsafe amounts of lead and cadmium.

U.S. District Judge Ruth Bermudez Montenegro wrote in a decision that the lawsuit failed to prove that the grocery store products pose a safety hazard or are unsuitable to eat. 

The San Diego judge also found that “alleging that heavy metals can pose human health risks at some unidentified level does not mean the levels in [Trader Joe’s] products pose a human health risk.”

TRADER JOE’S CHANGES GROCERY ITEM PRICE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 20 YEARS

In December 2022, Consumer Reports revealed that it tested 28 dark chocolate bars for high levels of lead and cadmium – and found that 23 were positive. The report said that the amount of metals is potentially harmful for consumers who eat more than one ounce of the chocolate per day.

According to the article, Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao was found to be high in lead, and The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate 85% Cacao from the supermarket had considerable amounts of lead and cadmium. 

WHY ARE GROCERIES STILL SO EXPENSIVE?

The inside of a Trader Joe's store

Cadmium and lead occur naturally in soil, but excessive amounts of the metals can be detrimental to health. Potential side effects include kidney damage, immune system suppression and nervous system issues. Consumer Reports noted that young children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to the side effects.

Many chocolate sellers were sued after the Consumer Reports article came out, including Godiva, Hershey and Mars.

Woman eating chocolate

Fox Business reached out to Trader Joe’s for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Read the full article here

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