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19 Jun 2020

Brendan Pierson, Reuters (USA)

USA: Court dismisses forced labour class action against Hershey, Nestle, and Marc Inc

"Circuit upholds dismissal of cocoa child labor class action," 17 June 2020

A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of class action lawsuits accusing chocolate makers Nestle USA Inc, Mars Inc and The Hershey Co of misleading consumers by failing to disclose use of child labor by their suppliers on their products’ labels.

Circuit Judge Juan Toruella, writing for a unanimous panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said that while the persistence of child labor in the global cocoa industry was a “humanitarian tragedy,” the case must be decided on the “very narrow question” of whether the companies’ labels violated Massachusetts consumer protection law.