Several consumers are suing Amazon Inc.’s Whole Foods, claiming traces of antibiotics were found in its 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 dedicated to ending factory farming, said it did its own tests in 2021 and 2022 and found traces of monensin sodium, a growth antibiotic, in a sample of one Whole Foods beef product, and fenbendazole, an antiparasitic agent, in five Whole Foods beef products, according to the complaint, accessed by National Public Radio.
The organization said it did not receive a response from Whole Foods̵7; CEO when it shared its findings. The organization also claims it emailed a Whole Foods executive in 2017 suggesting a testing method to verify the supermarket’s antibiotic-free claims, but was told “the ramifications of 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 alleges that Whole Foods took financial advantage of its customers by charging significantly more for its meat products than competitors, under the guise that their products are healthier, according to NPR.