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Safeway faces consumer suit

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PLEASANTON, Calif. — An advocacy group is backing a lawsuit filed by two consumers against Safeway Inc., charging that the retailer should have used its loyalty card information to contact them when products they bought were recalled.

An advocacy group is backing a lawsuit filed by two consumers against Safeway Inc., charging that the retailer should have used its loyalty card information to contact them when products they bought were recalled.

The plaintiffs want Safeway to commit to using its card data to contact consumers in the event of future recalls. The suit is backed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which contends that because Safeway contacts consumers with marketing offers based on their purchases, it should do the same in recall cases that could threaten a consumer’s health or safety.

Safeway says that it meets all legal and regulatory requirements related to recalls, and voluntarily posts information about recalled products on its web site and in its stores. Given that many retailers do not have loyalty card programs, Safeway officials argue that using such programs to contact individual consumers directly is not an industry norm. The company adds that consumers are not required to give their personal information to get a loyalty card.


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