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Sugar content leads Whole Foods Market to pull Greek Yogurt off shelves

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If you are shopping at a Whole Foods Market anytime soon, don’t expect to purchase the chain’s 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt. The Austin, Texas-based company has pulled the product from its shelves, pending a continuing round of lawsuits over discrepancies in the yogurt’s sugar content.

The latest class-action lawsuit, which was filed on August 29, 2014 in Manhattan federal court, involves 100 plaintiffs. Other lawsuits were filed earlier this summer in New Jersey, as well as Philadelphia, Boston and other cities.

All of the lawsuits allege that the chain’s 365 Everyday Value Plain Greek Yogurt contains almost six times the 2 grams of sugar per 1 cup serving that is listed on the product's nutrition facts label. The legal action is based on tests conducted by “Consumer Reports” published in July. Six samples from different lots of the yogurt in question were analyzed for their sugar content. The study found the samples to contain an average of 11.4 grams of sugar.

By means of comparison, one tablespoon, the standard serving size of grape jelly, contains 10 grams of sugar. The misleading number of sugar grams in the 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt could have serious implications for those with diabetes and anyone who wishes to watch their carbohydrate intake. Greek Yogurt has risen in popularity recently because of its creamy texture and high protein content.

“Consumer Reports” relates that when contacted about the difference, a Whole Foods Market representative told the publication that the company was investigating the discrepancy, and that the Consumer Reports results are not consistent with testing results provided to Whole Foods Market by reputable third-party labs. “We take this issue seriously and are investigating the matter, and will of course take corrective action if any is warranted,” the representative is quoted as saying.

Whole Foods Market, a pioneer in the natural foods supermarket business, began in 1980. A general statement on the Whole Foods website unrelated to the allegations against its Greek Yogurt claims “We evaluate quality [of its products] in terms of nutrition, freshness, appearance, and taste.”

In Central Jersey Whole Foods Market stores are located in Union, Madison, Marlboro, Middletown, Montclair, West Orange, and Princeton. Other locations are in nearby New York City.

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