The Organic Consumers Association has sued The Honest Co., a company founded by actress Jessica Alba, accusing it of falsely labeling its infant formula as “organic.” The lawsuit was filed April 6 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
So, what’s the local connection?
The Honest Co., headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., was founded by Alba in 2012 and received funding from General Catalyst, the big-time venture capital firm in Cambridge. General Catalyst knows a thing or two about startups, having funded a whole slate of high-profile companies, including Snapchat, Airbnb, Kayak, and Warby Parker. But it’s Alba, in a pink striped blouse and pencil skirt, who first greets visitors to the General Catalyst website.
According to the complaint, OCA, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, claims that The Honest Co.’s premium infant formula contains ingredients that are prohibited under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990.
“We’re talking about infant formula here,” said Katherine Paul, associate director for the OCA, in a telephone interview. “People need to be able to trust the label and the product.” Paul said the company has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
The Honest Co. appears to be ready to fight a legal battle. The company e-mailed the following statement to the Globe: “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.”