A class action lawsuit was filed this week in California alleging that the Kroger company is deceptively claiming that its Simple Truth chicken is sourced from chickens raised “in a humane environment.”
The suit claims that the birds are actually treated no differently from other mass produced chickens confined on factory farms and killed in industrial slaughter plants.
Kroger operates more than 2,600 supermarket stores in 34 states under various local banner names, such as Fry’s in Arizona.
The website Compassion Over Killing says that the lawsuit alleges that Simple Truth chicken products can be traced to a Perdue Farms processing facility in Kentucky. Perdue Farms is reported to engage in standard chicken industry practices such as selective breeding of fast-growth birds who continuously suffer from cardiovascular problems, painful bone deformities and lameness.
The suit claims that Simple Truth chickens are also subject to inhumane practices at slaughter, including upside down shackling by their legs and submersion into vats of electrified water.
A Kroger spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday that the company has not yet had a chance to review the lawsuit, but it plans to “vigorously defend” their label.