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Entire Meals should face lawsuit over its honey graham crackers By Reuters

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From Jonathan stamp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge in Manhattan said Tuesday Whole Foods Market is facing a proposed class action lawsuit alleging it deceived shoppers about the contents of its 365 organic honey graham crackers (NYSE 🙂 .

US District Judge Gregory Woods said Chandra Campbell made plausible claims that the words “honey” and “graham” on the box led reasonable consumers to believe that the crackers contained healthier whole wheat flour than non-whole wheat flour and that honey instead of sugar was the main sweetener.

“It’s not implausible for consumers to understand the words on the box to tell what they mean,” Woods wrote in a 31-page decision. The box also shows a honey ladle in a bowl of honey.

Whole Foods and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The chain, which is part of Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ :), has said Campbell was “inappropriately literal” and could have checked the ingredient list on the back if it wasn’t sure.

Woods said Campbell could pursue claims under New York consumer laws.

He denied fraud and negligence claims, saying the Manhattan resident was unable to request packaging changes because she now knew what was in the crackers and she wouldn’t buy.

In referring the case, Woods cited a 2018 federal appeals court retrial of a 2018 lawsuit against Kellogg (NYSE 🙂 Co for labeling Cheez-Its as “whole grain” when the main grain content was fortified with white flour.

Woods also wrote before the case began: “This judge did not know that the ‘graham’ in graham crackers referred to a type of flour: the crackers may have been named after a famous person named graham, which is how peach melba and melba toast became named after the opera singer “Nellie Melba from Australia”.

Campbell’s attorney Spencer Sheehan said he welcomed the rulings in her favor. Sheehan has filed many lawsuits accusing companies of mislabelling products.

The case is Campbell v Whole Foods Market Group Inc., US District Court, Southern Borough of New York, No. 20-01291.

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