Jessica Alba's $1.7 billion startup delivered a ferocious response to a recent lawsuit

Jessica Alba. Photo: Getty / File

Jessica Alba’s $1.7 billion startup, The Honest Co., has delivered a scathing response
to its critics, particularly the group that filed a lawsuit in April regarding its baby formula.
Honest, which sells eco-friendly household products like premium diapers and toothpaste, has had to fend off multiple recent lawsuits and reports that allege its products use synthetic ingredients and are deceptively labelled.

But the accusations that its baby formula contains synthetic and toxic ingredients seem to have hit particularly close to home. The company writes that cofounder Chris Gavigan spent years developing Honest’s Organic Infant Formula, with his own family in mind, after being told by a doctor that his newborn son was experiencing experiencing “failure to thrive.”

The statement also blasts advocacy groups for using Honest and Jessica Alba’s high profile to air their grievances with organic labelling in general.

“This lawsuit should be taking up their disagreement over existing organic standards with the U.S. government, not with Honest,” the company writes.

Here are the points Honest gives about the April lawsuit and its formula. It says Honest’s Organic Infant Formula is:

  • Fully compliant and meets all safety and nutritional standards.
  • Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and labelled with the USDA Organic Seal; the seal certifies Honest Organic Premium Infant Formula as “USDA Organic” in strict accordance with the National Organic Program.
  • Manufactured according to FDA standards in an ISO 9001:2008-certified, infant formula-manufacturing facility located within the United States. Dairy ingredients are sourced from leading dairy markets, including the United States, Canada and New Zealand. The FDA-inspected facility has been producing infant formulas for more than 30 years in strict compliance with good manufacturing practices (GMP). The facility’s manufacturing team is led by top scientists, nutritionists, engineers, regulatory experts and quality assurance specialists in the industry.
  • Certified organic and contains at least 95% organic ingredients as required by USDA. Any ingredients, including the 11 ingredients alleged in the suit as non-organic, are ingredients that occur naturally in breast milk, are important for infant growth and development, and are all either permitted or required by the FDA to be present in infant formula.

Honest, which raised $100 million last year at a $1.7 billion valuation, is seeking to go public, and is working with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley on the deal, according to Bloomberg’s Lizette Chapman and Alex Barinka.

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