SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - An animal rights group last month filed a lawsuit against a major grocery chain for allegedly misleading customers and false advertising.

The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, more commonly known as PETA, on behalf of Leah Williams and all others similarly affected, filed a class action lawsuit Sept. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Whole Foods Market Inc., Whole Foods Market California Inc. and Mrs. Gooch’s California Natural Markets Inc. for false advertisement of their meat products.

The plaintiffs claim the grocer misled consumers by advertising strict implementation of a five-step animal welfare rating system on its meat products, including cattle, chicken, turkey and pigs.

The plaintiffs allege the grocer does not enforce the standards "in any meaningful way," and the audits in which it monitors animal welfare are infrequent and a violation of animal rights.

PETA and the other plaintiffs allege Whole Foods, in purposely advertising its strict adherence to the rating system, is misleading customers about how they procure their meat products.

The plaintiffs are seeking a jury by trial and damages for unfair and misleading business practices, court costs, and a cessation of said false practices. They are represented by Elain T. Byszewski, Steve W. Berman and Christopher R. Pitoun of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

U.S. District Court, Northern District Court of California case number 5:15-cv-04301-NC.

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Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP

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