On Wednesday, Sherri Pettis filed a complaint in the Western District of Washington against Amazon.com, Inc., and Whole Foods Market, Inc. for allegedly failing to disclose that their herbs and spices contain “high levels” of toxic, heavy metals.
Whole Foods offers line of herbs and spices known as “365 By Whole Foods Market.” A 2021 report made by Consumer Reports found that their basil, cumin and ground ginger products allegedly “had high enough levels of arsenic, lead, and cadmium combined, on average, to pose a health concern for children when regularly consumed in typical serving sizes.”
These metals are extremely dangerous as “no amount of lead is known to be safe” and the other metals are just as harmful, the complaint says. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants “failed to adequately test for Heavy Metals in its Products.”
Pettis and the putative class argued that Whole Foods “knew or should have known they could control the levels of Heavy Metals in the Products by properly monitoring their ingredients.” They further reasoned that they would not have bought the products in the first place if they had known that these herbs and spices contained heavy metals, and thus suffered injury and actual damages by using them. Therefore, the plaintiff is suing on the counts of unjust enrichment, fraud, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and a violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
The plaintiff and putative class are seeking class certification, injunctive relief enjoining Whole Foods from continuing their fraudulent business practices and to disclose that their products contain “toxic heavy metals,” damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and other relief.
The plaintiff is represented by Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC.