Whole Foods Agrees to Pay $500,000 Settlement

Whole Foods recently agreed to pay $500,000 to settle allegations that they have been routinely overcharging customers by mislabeling the weight of food sold. The suit, brought by the city of New York, originally sought $1.5 million in damages, but Whole Foods refused this amount outright. According to spokesman Michael Silverman, they eventually agreed to pay 1/3 of that in order to “put this issue behind us.”

Whole Foods’ CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb claim that their weighing system is no different from any other super markets, and that the mislabeled foods represent a tiny fraction of overall sales. But the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs called it one of the “worst cases they have seen,” and some of the products sampled were overpriced by as much as $15.

The final price tag for the settlement might seem expensive, but the standard fine for falsely labeling a package is as much as $950 for the first violation and up to $1,700 for a subsequent violation. Given that their violations seem to number in the thousands, it appears Whole Foods got off lightly.

To read more, click here.

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