Fraud Uncovered in Target's Removal of Hampton Creek
Investigators reveal unsigned letters sent to retailers, including Target, from an anonymous source that intended to disrupt Hampton Creek's business.
Food technology company Hampton Creek—known for its eggless vegan condiment Just Mayo—recently hired an investigative team to uncover the circumstances surrounding its products being inexplicably pulled from shelves at major retailer Target as well as other efforts to disrupt its business. The incident transpired on June 22, when Target began to remove Hampton Creek products from its shelves based on unsubstantiated allegations regarding product safety—namely allegations that some products were mislabeled, contained undeclared ingredients, and posed salmonella and listeria threats—made by media outlet Bloomberg.
The investigative team has since found several fraudulent, unsigned letters sent to retailers—of which, only Target took action, removing the company's products without an official recall issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “The return address on the envelope of one letter sent to retailer(s) and turned over to investigators fraudulently purported to be from [Hampton Creek’s] CEO Josh Tetrick,” an unnamed party close to the investigation tells VegNews. “The letter itself was unsigned, addressed to retail partner executives, and cc’s Bloomberg.”
Andrew Noyes, spokesperson for Hampton Creek, tells VegNews that the FDA has since cleared the company of all purported safety claims. “We’ve remained confident that our products were safe and properly labeled, and that when presented with the facts, the FDA would agree,” Noyes says. “They informed us, after reviewing applicable evidence, that the matter is closed. We’ve reached out to Target to determine the steps needed to get back on shelves and restore our partnership. We're thankful to the millions of consumers and growing number of partners who continue to support our mission to build a food system where everyone is eating well.”
In 2015, the company was involved in a similar scandal, where 600 emails uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request revealed a conspiracy between Unilever and the American Egg Board (AEB). Amongst many shocking developments, the documents revealed that a contractor for AEB, Anthony Zoletzzi, was paid an undisclosed sum to remove Hampton Creek’s eggless products from the shelves at Whole Foods Market. Just Mayo became popular after the 2015 outbreak of bird influenza—which, according to a new report, cost one egg industry company, Cal-Maine Foods, $74 million in profits due to vegan alternatives.
Drake Ditches Meat
The musician confirms that he has no beef with vegetarians.
Read More »
Acclaimed Chef to Open Vegan Convenience Store
Matthew Kenney's vegan New Deli in Venice, CA will offer a range of plant-based snacks, prepared foods, and organic wine and beer that customers can enjoy on the store's patio or at the nearby beach.
Read More »
Vegan Food Truck to Sell Chicken Nuggets in Boston
Inspired by the owner's childhood love of comfort foods, the 16-foot food truck will feature seitan-based fried foods.
Read More »
Nearly Half of Meat-Free Canadians are Millennials
New research shows that Canadians 35 years old and younger are three times more likely to identify as vegan or vegetarian, while the largest meatless population in Canada resides in British Columbia.
Read More »
QDOBA Now Offers Price Cut for Vegans
The Mexican-inspired chain launched the Vegetarian Tier to give a discount to customers who order meat-free meals.
Read More »
- Biotech Startup Develops Fungus-Based Clean Pet Food
- Portland Pub Replaces Beef and Lamb with Vegan Burger
- W London Hotel to Offer Vegan Menu
- Saudis Go Vegan to Curb Obesity Epidemic
- Vegan Wine and Cheese Delivery Debuts
- Kraft Heinz Looks to Invest in Plant-Based Startups
- Toronto's Vegan Bake-Off Crowns Best Plant-Based Bakers
- MLB Ballparks Nationwide Debut New Vegan Options
- Daiya Debuts Line of Vegan Ice Cream Bars
- Cory Booker Dishes on Whole Food Plant-Based Journey
- World's Best Restaurant NOMA to Serve Vegan Menu
- Germany's First Vegan Kindergarten to Open in Fall
- Athletes Unite to Fight High-Speed Pig Slaughter Bill
- New Voodoo Doughnut to Sell 13 Vegan Options
- Doctors Lead Two-Day Vegan Nutrition Event in CA
- Fashion Giant Versace Ditches Fur
- Trump Eliminates Animal-Welfare Regulations
- Third Outpost of Plant Power Fast Food Opens in CA
- Accidentally Vegan Ferrero Rocher Now Available in UK
- Millennial CEO Launches Vegan Footwear Brand