The Honest Company, which has been forced to defend its nontoxic household goods reputation in the wake of numerous lawsuits and public scrutiny, experienced one small victory in court this week.
Forbes reported that the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed a lawsuit filed against the startup by industry nonprofit the Organic Consumers Association, which claimed the company’s infant formula was falsely labeled as organic.
The group accused the Honest Company’s product of actually containing 11 “synthetic substances that are not allowed in organic products,” which it said included “an extremely hazardous and toxic synthetic compound” called sodium selenite.
Earlier this year, Honest’s founders, which include celebrity Jessica Alba, posted a statement on the company’s blog defending its reputation and products. The blog post explicitly states that using any non-organic compounds goes against the company’s stated goals and runs contrary to the views of its stated consumer demographic.
The founders go to great lengths to point out that all of their products have been reviewed and cleared by several regulatory agencies and also pointed out the potentially misleading motives of the plaintiffs involved in lawsuits targeting the Honest Co.
“While we encourage and support consumer advocacy groups in their work, we believe the group filing this lawsuit should be taking up their disagreement over existing organic standards with the U.S. government, not with Honest,” the founders said. “It is unfortunate that some of these groups attempt to leverage the name recognition of Honest — and, more specifically, Jessica Alba — to draw more awareness to their efforts. Just know that it will not distract or deter us from our mission of helping families build happy and healthy lives.”
In this particular case, the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of Honest in November and officially threw the case out this month.
“Once a federal government, who is a USDA-accrediting certifying agent, permits a manufacturer to label a product as organic, because it has met that standard, any obligation of the product is not truthfully labelled as such is a challenge to the certifying agent’s decision, not to the manufacturer’s representation,” the judgment read.