OASIS responds to Dr Bronner’s lawsuit

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dr bronner Cease and desist Organic certification

The Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards (OASIS) has brought a motion against Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap for attempting to stifle free speech with its lawsuit against the organic certification body.

In its motion OASIS has gained the support of the free-speech charity the First Amendment Project for its attack against All One God Faith (AOGF), which trades as Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap.

AOGF had accused OASIS and 10 of the companies that support the standard of misleading consumers and falsely advertising products as organic when they contain conventional agricultural or petrochemical ingredients.

Many of the companies that AOGF took on in the lawsuit are major players in the personal care industry such as Estee Lauder and Hain Celestial.

These companies are now seeking the dismissal of the original lawsuit which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court in May.

OASIS claims that the lawsuit seeks to prohibit the certification body and others from offering or using voluntary and verifiable organic standards for personal care products.

So far no products have hit the shelves with the OASIS seal as the body is only a recent creation with the first public draft standard being posted online as recently as March.

AOGF and the campaigning group Organic Consumers Association (OCA) took an immediate dislike to the draft and threatened legal action.

“The pressure of imminent litigation outlines in cease and desist letters sent by OCA and Dr Bronner's in March prompted some serious discussion with some of the offending companies, but ultimately failed to resolve the core issues,” ​said the executive director of the OCA Ronnie Cummins.

"While OCA claims tht the 'cease and desist' letter outlined some 'serious discussions', OASIS was never approached by either OCA or AOCF,"​ said Gay Timmons, chair for OASIS.

"We had no discussions We only received a letter that, in our assessment, was intended as a threat. I fail to see how the mandate to sign an agreement or be sued can be construed as 'discussions'. It was clearly intended as a threat,"​ Timmons added.

Failing to resolve the issue privately, the organizations turned to the courts two months later with a lawsuit accusing OASIS and the 10 other companies of misleading the consumer.

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