Trader Joe’s is accused in a lawsuit of misleading and endangering shoppers by selling dark chocolate that contains harmful levels of lead and cadmium.

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of a New York consumer by a group of law firms that specialize in class action cases, accuses the supermarket chain of failing to warn consumers about heavy metals in its grocery products. bitter chocolate.

“High levels of lead and cadmium in food products are important to reasonable consumers because these chemicals pose serious health risks, even in small doses,” said the plaintiff, Thomas Ferrante of Nassau County, New York.

Trader Joe’s lawsuit was filed just a week after the same law firms announced a similar action against Hershey’s. Both suits follow a Consumer Reports December Study which tested popular dark chocolate bars for heavy metal content. Using California’s maximum allowable dose level (MADL) as a benchmark, the publication said that just five popular dark chocolate bars contained acceptable levels of lead and/or cadmium, while nearly two dozen did not.

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate 72% Cocoa was found to contain high levels of lead, and its product The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate 85% Cocoa was found to be high in lead and cadmium, according to Consumer Reports testing.

Trader Joe’s did not respond to a request for comment.

In an email, a spokesperson for the National Confectioners Association (NCA) declined to comment on the lawsuits, but said the California-based allowable dose benchmarks that Consumer Reports used in its tests «are not food safety standards.»

«Chocolate and cocoa are safe to eat and can be enjoyed as treats as they have been for centuries,» the NCA said, adding: «The products cited in this study meet strict quality and safety requirements.»

The NCA also pointed to a 2018 settlement it reached with an advocacy group, As You Sow, that set concentration levels for both lead and cadmium that exceed California’s maximum allowable dose levels.

Reuters contributed.