Just how desperate are Big Food companies to get in on the burgeoning organic market? It seems that they are desperate enough to lie about their ingredients – even in baby formula.
Plaintiffs are seeking over $5 million in damages from the well-known baby formula maker, Abbot Laboratories (who makes Similac) for labeling one of their formulas as organic when it is anything but organic.
Sara Margentette, Matthew O’Neil Nighswander, and Ellen Steinlien filed the suit on May 15 in U.S. District Court in New York, claiming that Abbot’s Similac Advance Organic contains ingredients that are prohibited from being in ‘organic’ food. The plaintiffs are wondering how the product was certified, and why 26 of the 49 ingredients – more than half – are not supposed to be in organic food.
One of the claims within the court documents states that the Similac brand contains ingredients that are either:
“. . . irradiated substances, synthetic compounds, or produced from hazardous substances.”
The plaintiffs also claim that Abbot is marketing the product with an organic label in order to get consumers to purchase it – obviously with the aim of increasing their profits.
“As a result of its false and misleading labeling, Abbott was able to sell its ‘Organic’ Infant Formula to hundreds of thousands of consumers throughout the United States and to realize sizeable profits,” the lawsuit said.
They claim ‘false and misleading’ labeling by Abbott laboratories as well.
The news comes as we reported on how global health care company Abbott will soon sell a GMO-free version of its Similac Advance baby formula at Target – the very first mainstream baby formula that will not contain genetically altered ingredients. This is great news in that it’s a clear sign that we are successfully raising GMO-awareness to the point of major corporations rolling out with non-GMO products, but with this recent lawsuit news, now we have to hope even more that this new ‘non-GMO’ claim will hold true.
The plaintiffs are represented by Todd S. Garber and D. Gregory Blankinship of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP in White Plains, N.Y.; Yvette Golan of The Golan Firm in Houston; and Kim E. Richman of The Richman Law Group of Brooklyn.
Featured image credit: KrogerKrazy