The Honest Company: Jessica Alba’s Company Sued By Organic Consumers Association Over Organic Formula Concerns

Jessica Alba’s company, The Honest Company, is being sued by the non-profit organization Organic Consumers Association over concerns about their organic infant formula.

According to a press release, posted on the association’s website, The Honest Company and The Hain Celestial Group, the maker of Earth’s Best infant and toddler formula, are being sued for falsely labeling their products organic when they contain ingredients that are prohibited under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OPPA).

The Organic Food Production Act serves three purposes, according to the USDA:

  1. to establish national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products
  2. to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard
  3. to facilitate interstate commerce in fresh and processed food that is organically produced.

“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.,” Ronnie Cummins, the OCA’s international director, said in the press release.

Cummin’s statement went on to explain the importance of labeling food products correctly, especially for new mothers who are worried about the health and well-being of their newborn babies. By labeling their products organic, The Honest Company and The Hain Celestial Group are misleading these mothers by making them think they are giving their infants one thing when it is actually another.

“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 continued. “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 states that The Honest Company is falsely labeling their Premium Infant Formula as “organic,” when it actually contains 11 different substances that are prohibited by the federal law from organics foods. Some of those substances include: sodium selenite (an extremely hazardous and toxic synthetic compound), taurine (a synthetic additive that has been associated with negative brain and nervous system effects in animals), cholecalciferol (an irradiated substance), and calcium pantothenate (a synthetic compound produced from formaldehyde).”

“The Honest Co. is falsely representing its Premium Infant Formula as ‘organic’ even though this product contains 11 synthetic substances prohibited under federal law in organic products,” Katherine Paul, the associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, told ABC News. “This is unacceptable.”

Despite the lawsuit, The Honest Company says their products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are certified organic by a third party. The company said in a statement that they are confident the lawsuit will be dismissed. Read the full statement below:

“Our Organic Infant Formula is cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and meets all safety and nutritional standards. It is also certified USDA Organic by an independent third party, in strict accordance with the National Organic Program. We are confident this lawsuit will be dismissed.”

[Photo by PR NEWSWIRE/ Associated Press]