retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California State Supreme Court has ruled that private citizens there "can file damage suits against produce companies that they believe have falsely labeled their products as 'organic'."

According to the story, the ruling challenges the popular interpretation of federal law that only allows citizens to complain about possible mislabeling to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which sets national organic standards in accordance with a 1990 federal law.

The Chronicle writes that the case originated when a California consumer "accused an herb-growing company of falsely labeling its products as organic ... under state laws that ban false advertising, a Superior Court judge and an appellate court ruled that such lawsuits would interfere with uniform nationwide standards.

The story notes that Herb Thyme Farms, the subject of the complaint, could appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.
KC's View:
I'm don't think litigation is the answer to everything ... but it is hard to get too annoyed at the idea that people who thought they were buying something organic having the opportunity to sue the company perpetrating that fraud. Because that's what it is.