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Several consumers are suing Amazon Inc.’s Whole Foods, claiming traces of antibiotics were found in their beef products labeled antibiotic-free, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in California on Tuesday.
While Whole Foods uses the slogan, “Our Meat: No Antibiotics, Ever” in its marketing materials, one of the plaintiffs, Farm Forward, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending factory farming, said it did its own testing in 2021 and 2022 and found traces of monensin sodium, a growth antibiotic, in one sample of a Whole Foods beef product, and fenbendazole, an antiparasitic, in five Whole Foods beef products, according to the complaint, accessed by National Public Radio.
The organization said it didn’t not get a reply from Whole Foods’ CEO when it shared its findings. The organization also alleges it emailed a Whole Foods executive in 2017 suggesting a testing method to verify the supermarket’s antibiotic-free claims, but were told “the repercussions for having a positive result were beyond ridiculous.”
A spokesperson for Whole Foods told NPR that the company does not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit also claims Whole Foods financially exploited its customers by charging significantly more for its meat products compared to competitors, under the guise that their products are healthier, according to NPR.