Three judges at the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit said this week that the state consumer protection laws - which were used in the plaintiff’s claims, including Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law - did not obligate Mars to label its supply chain.
The court noted Mars discloses its efforts to tackle slavery and labor abuses on its website, which is in compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010.
The judges added the existence of child labor doesn’t affect the “central functionality of the chocolate products.”
Commenting on the ruling, a Mars’ spokesperson said, “[We’re] pleased with the ninth circuit’s decision affirming the district court’s dismissal of the Hodsdon (the plaintiff) case.
“We have never condoned the use of forced labor, or any human rights abuses, in our supply chain and continue to combat this disturbing and complex problem working with international organizations, governments and NGOs,” said the M&M’s maker.
“But Mars believes that consumer class action litigation does not aid the concerted efforts to eradicate these practices because it offers no solution to the underlying human rights issues.”