The California Crow

“We care where our chicken comes from–from how it was raised to how it was processed,” says Whole Foods Market’s website. The popular and widely growing health food retailer touts high standards for its poultry, including strict prohibitions against antibiotics, animal byproducts in feed, physical alterations, and supplemental growth hormones.

According to a class action complaint filed on March 19, 2015, in California state court, however, the retailer’s chickens “are cruelly mistreated and brutally slaughtered just like other chickens.” The plaintiffs challenge Whole Foods’ claim “that their chickens are gently raised and lovingly slaughtered on farms with standards that far exceed conventional factory farms,” contending that the statement is false and misleading. Instead, plaintiffs allege that Whole Foods makes these claims about the living conditions of their chickens in order to justify charging consumers a high price for its poultry products.

The plaintiffs are hoping to certify a class of anyone who has “purchased…

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