In 2022, Farm Forward joined a consumer class action lawsuit alleging Whole Foods is deceiving the public by marketing their beef products as “no antibiotics, ever.” Farm Forward took this extraordinary step after our investigation found an antibiotic in meat we purchased from Whole Foods that was marketed as “raised without antibiotics” and Animal Welfare Certified.
The case is now underway. In April, we had our first hearing with the judge in federal court in Orange County California, and we’re waiting on the first ruling. The evidence in the case is strong and we’re optimistic that the case will proceed, but anticipate that the judge may ask us to amend the complaint or submit additional evidence.
In the meantime, Farm Forward and the consumer plaintiffs have begun to produce evidence supporting our allegations, a process known as “discovery.” To date, we’ve produced hundreds of pages of evidence supporting our claims.
We’ve asked Whole Foods for information pertaining to the case. Information like the names of their suppliers and what steps they’ve taken to ensure that meat from animals who’ve been given antibiotics don’t show up on their shelves.
And Whole Foods’ response? Stonewalling.
Whole Foods is objecting to proceeding with discovery. It’s not a good sign that the largest natural retailer in the country, which built a reputation on being honest and transparent, won’t share even the most basic information with the public about who supplies their meat or give assurances that they’ve taken steps to ensure their marketing claims are true.
Farm Forward is ready to be transparent. We’ve taken the extraordinary, and highly unusual, step of making our discovery materials available to the public. Now you can see for yourself why we believe Whole Foods is deceiving the public.
We’re challenging Whole Foods to do the same. If you have nothing to hide, respond to our requests for information and make those documents available to the public.
If Whole Foods won’t be open and transparent, the public will be left to wonder, what is Whole Foods hiding?