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Dr. Bronner's keeps after "organic cheaters"

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps says it has "upped the ante" in its dispute with brands marketing products as "Organic" that it claims are green-washed formulations containing conventional agricultural and/or petrochemical material. Second amended complaint filed July 1 in San Francisco Superior Court seeks monetary damage from defendants as well as injunctive relief for false advertising under federal Lanham Act, rather than injunction alone under California's Unfair Competition Law. New filing "keeps the case on a straightforward track to trial for product misbranding and false advertising instead of allowing it to be bogged down in an appeals court arguing whether lost revenues are 'restitutionary' versus 'compensatory' damages under the UCL," Bronner's says. Plaintiff notes that Estee Lauder has been dropped from the suit because it has not marketed Aveda products with the Organic and Sustainable Industry Standards seal, as the firm earlier indicated it might. OASIS remains a defendant in the case, as well as Hain-Celestial, Levlad, Kiss My Face, YSL Beaute, Country Life, Giovanni and French certifier Ecocert. A Bronner's rep told "The Rose Sheet" that the Organic Consumers Association, as part of its "Coming Clean" campaign, may launch a boycott of products from "cheater" brands. The spokesperson noted that OCA has been influential in the past with such initiatives; in 2006, the consumer group called for a boycott of two organic milk producers -- Horizon Organic and Aurora Organic Dairy
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