Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (CSK&D) is investigating reports from consumers and news outlets that certain companies in the food/food manufacturing industry falsely label their food and foodstuff products as “organic” when, in fact, these products do not actually meet the requirements for organic labeling.
According to the Organic Trade Association, since the creation and introduction of the “USDA Organic” seal on food packaging in 2000, organic food sales have risen from about $6 billion annually in 2000 to $40 billion in 2015. The integrity of this relatively new labeling system relies on an atypical system of inspections whereby farmers hire their own inspectors from lists of private companies and organizations licensed by the USDA. The USDA itself does not typically inspect farms, and it is reported that only 5 percent of the inspections conducted by these private groups are conducted unannounced. Clearly, this system of inspections of purportedly organic farms and food manufacturers is susceptible to abuse and potential fraud, and opens the door to farms and food manufacturers misstating or lying about their compliance with organic food labeling rules and requirements.
CSK&D is interested in speaking with consumers or farming/food production industry workers or insiders who may have information about falsely advertised or mislabeled food products that purport to be organic, but that really are not and do not meet the requirements for organic labeling. These types of abuses are misleading to consumers and cause consumers to significantly overpay for food products.
If you have any information about falsely advertised or mislabeled “organic” food products, please contact the lawyers listed on this page.