HimalaSalt-Sustainable Sourcing, LLC sells a variety of flavors of salt which it markets as “organic” salt. The complaint for this class action claims that this designation is false, because salt is a mineral and not an agricultural product. Under federal law, the complaint says, salt therefore cannot be designated as organic.
The complaint for this class action is all California residents who made retail purchases of any of HimalaSalt’s products that contain the word “organic” in the product name, during the applicable limitations period up to final judgment of this action.
Companies nowadays know that consumers prefer healthy foods, with natural ingredients, fewer additives, and less processing. They are willing to pay more for products that offer these things. In particular, they will pay more for food that is “organic,” which they perceive as being cleaner, cultivated with more care, and less contaminated with chemicals.
Plaintiff Erika Garcia claims that she bought HimalaSalt products in stores in California. She says she believed the company’s claims that the salt was organic and was willing to pay more for the products because she believed they were healthier than regular salt products.
The complaint shows images of one of the salt flavors. The label says, “HimalaSalt” and beneath that, “The Purest Salt on Earth.” Just visible on the back of the container are the words, “Ethically sourced. Artisan made…” The product name is “Organic Garlic Himalayan Salt.”
The complaint refers to earlier cases to contend that the adjective “organic” is read as applying to both the garlic and the salt.
However, federal law says that the word “organic” “may not be used in a Products name to modify a nonorganic ingredient of the Products.” The same general section of the law says that “salt ingredients cannot be identified as organic.” The complaint thus alleges that the use of the word “organic” on the label is “unfair, deceptive, and illegal.”
The complaint’s causes of action include California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, its False Advertising Law, and its Business and Professions Code.