Ecocert speaks out after organics definition lawsuit is dropped


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After years of in-court battles leading to the lawsuit being dropped, the certification body has expressed its pleasure at the San Francisco Federal District Court’s decision to drop the case and side with Ecocert.

The on-going lawsuit between Dr. Bronner and a number of defending cosmetics companies and certification bodies was dismissed by the district court last month, with the Northern District of California declaring that the filing of a fourth amendment to the lawsuit was denied, while the third amendment was dismissed, bringing an end to the suit.

The lawsuit, which was headed up by food and personal care player Hain Celestial, has seen soap manufacturer Dr. Bronner's, backed by other natural cosmetic and personal care manufacturers, do battle with other leading manufacturers over what exactly constitutes a natural and organic product and how it is labeled.

Confidence and relief

“Ecocert has always been confident that the lawsuit would be shown to be without any merit whatsoever and that the Natural and Organic cosmetic labeling certified under the Ecocert standard was neither a breach of California or Federal law, nor misleading U.S. consumers,”​ says an organization statement.

“Ecocert has always been, and will continue to be, focused on assuring that its certification of cosmetic products meets the highest standards.”

The lawsuit was first filed back in April 2008 under the premise that its complicity to strict FDA regulations governing organic beauty products was not being met by its competitors.

Complaints of non-compliance

Dr. Bronner claimed that many of the leading organic beauty brands had not been complying with the standards enforced by the FDA, and ultimately not complying with consumer expectations as to the definition of an organic certified product.

In the original lawsuit Dr Bronner asked that the companies cease to market products with organic in the product name unless they meet USDA National Organic Program specifications, which it believes represents consumers’ expectations of the term organic.

This led to an on-going court battle, with the defendents and the subsequent filing of four amendments.

The District Court judgment last month has finally brought the litigation to an end.

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