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December 2017

Proposition 65 Settlement May Establish New Industry Standard for Lead and Cadmium in Chocolate

Nine chocolate manufacturers have entered into a comprehensive settlement resolving Proposition 65 claims that they allegedly exposed individuals to lead and cadmium in chocolate products without clear and reasonable Proposition 65 warnings. The settlement, intended to inject some scientific discipline into the required compliance measures while establishing a new industry standard, is set to be reviewed by the San Francisco Superior Court for approval on February 14, 2018. The Proposition 65 claims were brought by As You Sow, which issued 60-day Notices of Violation against several manufacturers and retailers of chocolate products beginning in 2014. As You Sow followed up on one such Notice of Violation when it filed a lawsuit against retailer Trader Joe’s Company in San Francisco Superior Court in November 2015. Reflecting the statutory and regulatory preference that manufacturers, rather than retailers, bear the obligation of Proposition 65 compliance, the parties to the settlement represent a significant …Read More