Last April we reported on the story that the Organic Consumers Association was suing Earth’s Best and the Honest Company over selling what they called “fake” organic baby formula. We got the inside scoop from the OCA on how these products could have possibly been approved by a third-party certifier but not comply with organic regulations. Basically, the lawsuits were filed not because Earth’s Best and the Honest Company in particular were in violation of the National Organic Program (when indeed all other organic baby formulas contain the chemicals in question), but more to pressure the USDA National Organic Program to close the loopholes in regulations that allow synthetic vitamins to be added to products.
Current NOP regulations state that minerals and vitamins can be added to products if needed. But the NOP doesn’t clarify which particular nutrients can be added. Thus, some synthetics can end up in organic products. (Some of which are actually required by FDA regulations for baby formulas.) The aim of the lawsuits against Honest Company and Earth’s Best was basically to pressure the NOP to close that loophole.
In December 2016, the Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles (where the case was filed) dismissed the case, stating that “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.” (Source) In other words, the court thinks that the OCA should take it up with the third-party certifying agency, not with the manufacturer because they’ve met all of the certifier’s requirements.
The OCA filed an intent to appeal the court’s decision, however, they have not taken any further action to date.