Trader Joe’s in-house brand of dark chocolate contains harmful levels of toxic metals, including lead and cadmium, two separate lawsuits have been filed against the popular grocery chain .
Two New Yorkers filed separate lawsuits against Trader Joe’s for “failure to disclose to consumers” that the product was dangerous, according to court documents.
One of the plaintiffs, Tamakiya Heard, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, alleging that Trader Joe’s knowingly continued to sell two infringing products, a “72% Dark Chocolate Cocoa” bar and a “Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate 85% Cocoa” bar. he did.
The other plaintiff, Thomas Ferrante, who is represented by the same attorneys as Herd, filed his lawsuit in federal court in Brooklyn.
In both lawsuits a Last month’s Consumer Reports story It found that more than two dozen popular brands, including Trader Joe’s, Hershey’s, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Lily’s and Green & Black’s, sold dark chocolate containing varying levels of cadmium and lead.
Last week, attorneys representing Ferrante filed a separate lawsuit against Hershey’s on behalf of another Nassau County resident.
The lawsuit demanded the company pay at least $5 million in damages for “serious health risks” caused by heavy metals in “Special Dark Soft Sweet Chocolate.”
In 2001, California passed Proposition 65, which established maximum allowable daily levels (MADLs) for lead (0.5 micrograms) and cadmium (4.1 micrograms) in food.
Consumer Reports tested 28 different one-ounce chocolate bars. Trader Joe’s “72% Cocoa Dark Chocolate” was found to contain 192 percent of the MADL allowed under California law.
According to Consumer Reports, Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar 85% Cacao was found to contain excessive amounts of lead (127% of the MADL) and cadmium (229%).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cadmium is a “carcinogen.”
According to the CDC, “Exposure to low levels of cadmium in air, food, water, and especially tobacco smoke can lead to cadmium accumulation in the kidneys over time, leading to kidney disease and brittle bones.”
Lead exposure has been linked to several conditions including anemia, weakness, kidney and brain damage. According to health experts, children are especially prone to cognitive impairment, low IQ and behavioral problems if they are victims of lead poisoning.
The Post sought comment from Trader Joe’s and The Hershey Company.
Considered a healthy alternative to milk chocolate, dark chocolate is made mostly of cocoa, a bean that has many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and brain, and preventing blood clots. .
But the cacao plant absorbs cadmium through the soil as it grows, and traces of lead have been found in the outer shell of cacao beans after they are harvested.