Abbott Nutrition Being Sued For Allegedly Mislabeling Organic Products

Brooklyn, NY—Abbott Nutrition is being sued by a group of parents for allegedly “misleading misrepresentations on its private-label Similac Advance Organic Infant Formulas,” according to the court documents. It is being said that, of the 49 ingredients listed on the product, 26 of them are not allowed in organic foods.

The accusations are being made by Ellen Steinlein, a mother from Dixon, CA, as well as Sara Marentette and Matthew O’Neil Nighswander, who are parents to four children in Brooklyn, NY. Both parties were led to believe by Abbott’s product packaging that the “Organic” Infant Formula they were purchasing was organic and did not contain preservatives. Both would not have purchased the product if they were aware of the alleged mislabeling.

“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 sizable profits,” the lawsuit says.

In addition to not being allowed in organic foods, some of the 26 ingredients in questions are allegedly hazardous. For example, the Infant Formula contains ingredients such as synthetic taurine, an amino acid that has been associated with negative brain and nervous system effects in animals, and cyanocobalamin, a synthetic compound said to convert to cyanide in the body. It should be noted, however, that some ingredients cited by the plaintiffs may have clearance under The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

“Abbott’s Similac Organic infant formula is certified as organic in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s current National Organic Program standards,” Abbott Nutrition released in a statement. “We comply with all requirements to maintain this certification. All of the ingredients named in this lawsuit are approved for use today in organic infant formulas.”

In addition to seeking class status, the plaintiffs are seeking more than $5 million in damages and court costs.

Published by WholeFoods Magazine Online, 6/2/2015