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Chocolate giants accused of unsafe metal levels

Non-profit campaign group, As You Sow, has alleged 62% of chocolates it tested contained lead or cadmium levels in which one serving exceeds the California safe harbour level for reproductive harm. Mars Inc, Hershey, Mondelez International and Lindt & Sprungli were some of the firms targeted by the campaign, according to

Hershey has rejected the claims as being old and insisted that they were discredited years ago. The company said the metals referred to came from “naturally occurring” processes. No lead or cadmium is added to the cocoa or chocolate products during processing and manufacturing, it added.

IRCTC starts cash on delivery for train tickets

You can now book a rail ticket online and get it delivered at home where the payment can be made. Initiating this cash on delivery system, IRCTC is targeting those customers who are reluctant to use their credit or debit cards as well as those who don’t have net-banking facility.

This scheme has been launched on pilot basis and the service will be available in more than 200 cities initially. Customers can book a ticket five days prior to commencement of journey. While Rs. 40 will be charged for the delivery of each sleeper class ticket, Rs. 60 will be charged for an AC class ticket.

ASCI to monitor ads of stem cell based therapies

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), together with The National Apex Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy (NAC-SCRT), has begun monitoring ads that communicate stem cell-based therapies, according to

The precautionary step has been undertaken as the therapies are currently investigational in nature and must be conducted only within the scope of clinical trials. Action has been initiated against 23 websites. Advertisers have reportedly immediately started amending their website content.

MP to get world’s largest solar power plant

Next year on Independence Day, India will have the world’s largest 750 MW solar power plant in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh, which will pip America’s much-vaunted 550 MW Desert Sunlight solar project in California, according to The Times of India.

Acquisition of 1,500 hectares of land for the Rs 4000 crore project is close to completion and government agencies are likely to invite tenders from developers by April. The expected cost of power production is pegged at Rs 5 per/unit which would be lower than production costs in any solar project in the country.

Nestle to remove artificial colours, flavours from candy

Candy company Nestle USA has announced that it would start removing all artificial flavours and “US FDA-certified colours” from its products. By the end of 2015, more than 250 products and 10 brands will be free of artificial flavours and certified colours, according to

For instance, Nestle said it will use natural vanilla flavour rather than artificial vanillin in its Crunch bars. This makes Nestle the first major American confectionery manufacturer to ban such additives. The step has been taken due to growing demand from customers for foods made with natural ingredients.

E-tailers to cater to special needs of the elderly

E-tailers in India are coming up with products and offerings exclusively for senior citizens, according to Several products for the elderly are not available easily offline. There are 120 million people over the age of 60 living in India.

Some of the online shopping portals are, which caters exclusively to senior citizens supplying mobility aids, toilet safety products and healthcare items,, a south India-based online and offline company, which sells healthcare products and New Delhi-based, which started about two years ago and supplies medical devices, wheelchairs and diagnostic aids. Lenskart provides at-home eye care and check-up service for the elderly.

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