Last week, PETA announced that it would be suing Whole Foods Market, claiming that the grocery chain was charging a premium for welfare standards that are not as strict as they appear. Essentially, PETA claims that Whole Foods is overcharges customers, alleging that they’re actually not any better than the baseline “industry standard” for animal rights, like raising cage-free hens
Now, in a blog post written by its co-CEO Walter Robb Whole Foods has responded, calling PETA’s lawsuit, “cynical,” “publicity-driven,” and a “waste of the court’s time and tax payer money.”
“We remain committed to providing the best quality and ethically sourced meat, fish, and poultry products, and are not distracted by the cynical, publicity-driven efforts of our critics,” Robb wrote. “Whole Foods Market’s No. 1 priority is to ensure that our customers have the information they need to make the best, most informed choices for them and their families, and that every product on our shelves meets the rigorous quality standards that set us so far apart from our competition.”
Robb goes on to tick off the various ways that Whole Foods has prioritized animal welfare, including their five-step animal welfare rating system, and commitment to cage free, antibiotic and hormone-free meat.
The Daily Meal asked PETA to respond to this Whole Foods blog post, and they reiterated their position:
“Whole Foods has adopted deceptive advertising of animal welfare standards when animals still suffer in cruel ways,” a PETA spokesperson told The Daily Meal. “Unlike the average supermarket, they are intentionally misleading customers. They say no cages, no crowding, but that’s meaningless because cages are never used for broiler hens [specifically raised for meat production]. It’s nothing special.”