Whole Foods halts sales of live lobsters
Supermarket chain reaches decision after learning that animals were placed in storage facilities for months at a time; will also stop selling soft-shelled crab.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Organic supermarket chain Whole Foods announced Friday it will stop selling live lobsters effectively immediately, citing the inhumane treatment of the animals.

"We are not yet sufficiently satisfied that the process of selling live lobsters is in line with our commitment to humane treatment and quality of life for animals," Margaret Wittenberg, vice president of quality standards for Whole Foods Market, said in a prepared statement.

The company reached the decision to stop the sale of the crustacean after conducting a seven-month review into its lobster procurement process, learning that in many instances the animals were held in storage facilities for several months at a time.

Whole Foods (Charts) also announced that it would also halt the sale of live soft-shelled crab.

The company, however, will continue to sell both raw and cooked frozen lobster products from companies that meet handling and processing standards developed by Whole Foods.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said the company would consider resuming the sale of lobsters if improvements are made in the treatment of the animals.

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Related: Wal-Mart's next conquest: Organics. Top of page

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.