That’s according to the New York Post, who’s got the court docs from the suit, filed by the Organic Consumers Association. “Honest’s ‘Organic’ Infant Formula is not organic, as labeled. Instead, it has synthetic ingredients that are not allowed in organic products by federal law,” the suit alleges, adding that, “In fact, of the 40 ingredients in the ‘Organic’ Infant Formula, more than a quarter are synthetic substances that are not allowed in organic products.”
“Honest’s conduct deceived and/or was likely to deceive the public,” the suit alleges. “Consumers were deceived into believing that the ‘Organic’ Infant Formula was organic, as labeled.’”
It’s not just Honest Company that’s getting hit, either, the Post notes:
The OCA also sued Earth’s Best brand owner Hain Celestial, alleging that its Organic Infant Formula, Organic Soy Infant Formula, Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula and Organic Toddler Formula “contain a spectacular array of ingredients that are . . . non-organic, all of which are prohibited.”
Hain Celestial said its infant formulas fully comply with USDA’s National Organic Program standards and, “We are confident that the court will dismiss this lawsuit.”
The Organic Consumers Association describes itself in the suit as a nonprofit “public interest organization” whose “mission includes the preservation of strict organic standards.” Judging from their Facebook page, they are very big fans of GMO labelling. They are likely more invested in transparent packaging and zealous adherence to the “organic” rules than your average grocery shopper. But Honest Company’s whole pitch—which has been successful enough they grabbed a $1.7 billion valuation on their last round of VC fundraising— is based on all-natural organic honesty.
We’ve contacted Honest Company for a statement and will update if we hear anything back.
Update, 4/27, 5pm:
The Honest Company responded to our request for comment with the following statement:
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.