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20 Apr 2018

Sean Forbes, Law360

Nestlé, Hershey Say No Room For Child Labor On Labels

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Nestlé and Hershey urged a Massachusetts federal court to toss separate proposed consumer class actions alleging that the companies failed to disclose information about forced child labor in their chocolate supply chains, arguing that the requested disclosures don't belong on every candy label...In separate briefs, Nestlé and Hershey each argued that the suits, both filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, can't stand in part because [Massachusetts law] doesn't require companies to make such disclosures on wrappers, and that to do so would be impractical...Both companies also noted that, even though the possibility of forced labor in their supply chains wasn't included on the candy bars' labels, that information is available on the companies' websites, according to their filings. And there have been plenty of media reports, documentaries and political debate about the problem of child labor in the cocoa industry, according to the motions...A spokesman for Hershey told Law360 in an email that similar suits against it failed in California, adding that like Nestle, it is working on programs that focus on preventive forced labor.