Consumers sued Whole Foods for allegedly falsely advertising antibiotic-free beef: NPR

A pedestrian wears a mask as he passes in front of a sign for Whole Food Market in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Jeff Chiu/AP


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Jeff Chiu/AP


A pedestrian wears a mask as he passes in front of a sign for Whole Food Market in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Jeff Chiu/AP

Several consumers are suing Whole Foods, claiming traces of antibiotics were found in their beef products that were labeled antibiotic-free. court case Filed this week in California.

Uses the Whole Foods slogan, “Our Flesh: No Antibiotics, Ever” In its marketing materials, such as on packaging, in store signs and on its original website, Amazon.

But one of the plaintiffs, Farm Forward, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending factory farming, said it conducted its testing in 2021 and 2022 and found a sample of Whole Foods beef product containing monensin sodium, a Evolution found traces of antibiotic, and fenbendazole, an antiparasitic, in five Whole Foods beef products.

The organization said it shared its findings with the CEO of Whole Foods, but did not receive a response. The organization also alleged that it emailed a Whole Foods executive in 2017 suggesting a testing method to verify the antibiotic-free claims of supermarkets, but stated that “the consequences of having a positive result were beyond ridiculous. “

A spokesperson for Whole Foods said the company does not comment on the pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit also claims that Whole Foods exploited its customers financially by charging significantly higher fees for its meat products than competitors, under the guise that their products are healthier.

“The consumer plaintiffs would not have purchased the beef products, or paid the prices they did, if they had known the truth that the cattle used in the products were raised with antibiotics,” the complaint said.

Some of Whole Foods’ cattle are sourced from the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Animal Welfare Certified Program. a study published on Science.org An independent laboratory test in April found that 26% of these cattle tested positive for antibiotics.

a whole food spokesperson Told consumer Reports At the time: “We have extensively reviewed the information provided to us and have no reason to believe that the cattle tested in this study ended up in products in our stores. We take compliance very seriously and if The supplier has never hesitated to take action that has failed to meet our rigorous quality standards.”

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