A proposed class action lawsuit spearheaded by the nonprofit Farm Forward filed in California alleges that Whole Foods used deceptive marketing to claim their organic beefs are free from antibiotics. The beef in question was certified USDA Organic, given a rating scale of 4 out of 5 from the Global Animal Partnership (“GAP”), and sold under the label of “No Antibiotics, Ever.”

Farm Forward, in an independent study, examined samples of meat products from several Whole Foods locations including San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Virginia. Farm Forward’s study alleges that there was a presence of antibiotic residue in Whole Foods’ organic beef products. The study further alleges that the sample taken from the San Francisco location also contained a growth-promoting antibiotic. A second set of tests allege that there was antiparasitic antibiotics found in the Chicago and Salt Lake City samples. Those samples were GAP-certified and three were marketed and sold under the label of “pasture-raised.”

The case is Safari et al v Whole Foods Market Inc., U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 22-01562.

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