Infant Formula Makers Accused of Falsely Labeling Products as 'Organic'


lawsuits filed against infant formula makers for false claimsTwo popular infant formula makers are under fire for falsely labeling their products. The Honest Co. and The Hain Celestial Group (the latter of which is the owner of the Earth's Best formulas) are accused of calling their products "organic" when, in fact, they contain ingredients that are prohibited under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has filed lawsuits against both companies.


When parents purchase infant formula, they're trusting their children's health and well-being to the information they see on the labels. In a press release, Ronnie Cummins, OCA's international director, calls out the companies for misleading new moms:

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. 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. 

Further, Cummins stated that the goal of the lawsuit is to force companies to either comply with USDA organic standards or stop deceiving the public by dubbing their products "organic."

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OCA's lawsuit alleges that The Honest Co., cofounded by Hollywood mom Jessica Alba, falsely labeled its Premium Infant Formula as "organic," yet the product includes 11 substances prohibited by federal law from organics. In fact, some of its ingredients are federally regulated as hazardous compounds, and at least one is irradiated.

This isn't the first time The Honest Co. has been in trouble for deceptively marketing its products.

When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the The Honest Co. released 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.

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OCA's lawsuit against Hain Celestial claims that the company's Earth's Best brands such as Organic Infant Formula, Organic Soy Infant Formula, Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula, and Organic Toddler Formula are all deceptively labeled "organic" because they include ingredients that are non-agricultural and non-organic. The OCA alleges that of the 48 ingredients in Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula, more than 50 percent are in violation of USDA Organic Standards.

Requests for comments from The Hain Celestial Group have not yet been returned.


Image via Petrenko Andriy/Shutterstock

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