Organic Consumers Association

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Nonprofits File Lawsuit Against Sioux Honey Over ‘100% Pure’ and ‘Natural’ Labels on Products Contaminated with Glyphosate

November 1, 2016
Organic Consumers Association

Beyond Pesticides, Organic Consumers Association allege deceptive and misleading labeling, after FDA testing confirms contamination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2016
Contact:

Beyond Pesticides: Jay Feldman, 202-255-4296, jfeldman@beyondpesticides.org
Organic Consumers Association: Katherine Paul, (207) 653-3090, katherine@organicconsumers.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Beyond Pesticides and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), represented by Richman Law Group, today filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in the District of Columbia against Sioux Honey Association, for the deceptive and misleading labeling of its Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s honey brands. The suit follows news that Sue Bee honey products labeled “100% Pure” and “Natural” tested positive for glyphosate residue. Glyphosate, a known endocrine disrupter and, according to the World Health Organization, a probable human carcinogen, is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® herbicide.

“A consumer seeing the words ‘Pure,’ ‘100% Pure’ or ‘Natural’ on a honey product would reasonably expect that product to contain nothing other than honey,” said OCA International Director, Ronnie Cummins. “Regardless of how these products came to be contaminated, Sioux Honey has an obligation to either prevent the contamination, disclose the contamination, or at the very least, remove these deceptive labels.”

Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, said: “We join and support those beekeepers who are working to stop hazardous pesticides uses that cause widespread contamination of crops, including honey. Until U.S. regulatory agencies prohibit Monsanto and other manufacturers of glyphosate from selling pesticides that end up in the food supply, we need to protect consumers by demanding truth and transparency in labeling.”

The lawsuit specifically cites Sue Bee Clover Honey, labeled “Pure”; Aunt Sue’s Farmers Market Clover Honey, labeled “100% Pure”; and Aunt Sue’s Raw Honey, labeled “100% Pure” and “Natural. Plaintiffs cite testing, conducted by the FDA, of honey that found 41 ppb (parts per billion) of glyphosate.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not set a tolerance (or acceptable level) of glyphosate in honey, raising questions about the legality of any level. 

The EPA was supposed to rule in 2015 on whether or not to re-register glyphosate, but has failed to complete the review process on schedule.

Read the formal complaint here. 

About Beyond Pesticides 
Beyond Pesticides is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., which works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides through a program of science, policy and action. For more information, please visit www.beyondpesticides.org.

About the Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public-interest organization advocating on behalf of more than two million consumers for health, justice, and sustainability. For more information, please visit www.organicconsumers.org.

About Richman Law Group
A boutique law firm specializing in consumer protection and civil rights litigation, Richman Law Group was founded on the idea that the client is the essential component in maintaining a successful practice. Composed of a tight-knit cadre of tenacious and diverse professionals, Richman Law Group is dedicated to fighting for the rights of its clients, and through them, the needs of the community at large. For more information, please visit www.richmanlawgroup.com.

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