Organic Consumers Association Sues Two Infant Formula Makers for Falsely Labeling Products Organic

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Katherine Paul, katherine@organicconsumers.org, 207.653.3090

Organic Consumers Association Sues Two Infant Formula Makers for Falsely Labeling Products Organic

The Honest Co. and Earth’s Best (made by Hain Celestial) Infant Formula Brands Contain Long List of Ingredients Prohibited by Federal Law under USDA Organic Standards

FINLAND, MN - The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced today that the nonprofit consumer advocacy group has filed suit against two infant formula makers—The Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), owner of the Earth’s Best infant and toddler formula brands, and The Honest Co.—for falsely labeling “organic” products that contain ingredients prohibited under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OPPA).

“It is fitting that we draw attention to these two companies for violating U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards this week, when leaders of the organic industry are convening to discuss and uphold organic standards at the Spring National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Washington, D.C.,” said Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director.

“No one is more concerned about food labels and ingredients than new mothers responsible for feeding infants whose immune systems and brain development are so underdeveloped and vulnerable,” Cummins said. “As consumers, these mothers must rely on truthful labeling in order to make the best choices for feeding their infants and toddlers. Our job as a consumer advocacy group is to call out and hold accountable companies like The Honest Co. and Hain Celestial when they knowingly and intentionally mislead consumers. OCA has long been a defender of organic standards, which means also defending the organic label. Our goal with this lawsuit is to force these companies to either comply with USDA organic standards or stop calling their products ‘organic.’” 

The lawsuit against The Honest Co. alleges that the company is falsely representing its Premium Infant Formula as “organic,” when the product in fact contains 11 substances prohibited by federal law from organics. Some of the ingredients are federally regulated as hazardous compounds. At least one is irradiated. And some have not even been assessed as safe for human foods, much less for infant formulas.

The lawsuit against Hain Celestial alleges that the company’s Earth’s Best brands including Organic Infant Formula, Organic Soy Infant Formula, Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula and Organic Toddler Formula are all falsely labeled organic because they contain a spectacular array of ingredients that are non-agricultural and non-organic, all of which are prohibited under OPPA. For example, of the 48 ingredients in Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula alone, more than half violate USDA Organic Standards.

OCA filed suit against Santa Monica, Calif.-based The Honest Co. in the Superior Court of California, and against Lake Success, N.Y.-based Hain Celestial in Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The lawsuits were filed by OCA on behalf of the general public, with the help of the Seattle, Wash.-based Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC (The Honest Co.) and Yve Golan of The Golan Firm; Kim Richman of The Richman Law Group, Todd Garber of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP, and Beth Terrell of Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC.

Full complaint against The Honest Co.

Full complaint against The Hain Celestial Group

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The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.

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