Jessica Alba's Honest Company Hit With Another False Advertising Lawsuit
By Alex Ungerman
UPDATE: On Tuesday, The Honest Company told ET in a statement, "The Honest Company takes its responsibility to our consumers seriously and strongly stands behind our products. These allegations are without merit and we will vigorously defend this baseless lawsuit."
The consumer goods corporation, which was co-founded by the 34-year-old actress, is facing more legal battles. Court documents obtained by ET allege that the company falsely marketed several of its products as not containing sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), a chemical compound found in many personal care products that some believe to be harmful.
The class action complaint, filed by Margo Smith in the Eastern Missouri District Courton March 24, alleges that several Honest products currently on the market, including "liquid laundry detergent, dish soap, multisurface cleaner and other products" may contain the compound. While SLS is found in many of the Honest Company's competitors' products, including Tide and Seventh Generation, the company has in the past attempted to distinguish its own products as being SLS-free.
A Wall Street Journal report published earlier in March is cited in the complaint, as the newspaper claimed to have commissioned two independent laboratories to test Honest’s laundry detergent. Both studies allegedly both detected significant levels of the chemicals in question, with WSJ reporting, "More than a dozen scientists interviewed by the Journal said SCS, which is made from palm or coconut oil, is a mixture of various cleaning agents that includes a significant amount of SLS."
The Honest Company issued a blog post in response to the report, saying the publication "clearly had the goal of harming the reputation and good will that we are so proud to have built here at Honest."
The company also released a statement to ET, saying, "Despite providing The Wall Street Journal with substantial evidence to the contrary, they falsely claimed our laundry detergent contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. To set the record straight, we use Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) in our brand's laundry detergent because it is a gentler alternative that is less irritating and safer to use.”
"Rigorous testing and analysis both by our internal research and development teams as well as further testing by external partners have confirmed this fact,” they concluded.
Alba's company, which has been valued at $1 billion, according to Forbes, was previously sued last fall by a consumer, Jonathan D. Rubin, who claimed they "deceptively and misleadingly" marketed their products as "natural" when several of their products allegedly contain "unnatural" ingredients.
Alba responded in a statement to ET at the time, saying, "I started The Honest Company to develop safe and effective products not just for my children, but for families everywhere. The allegations against us are baseless and without merit.”
“We strongly stand behind our products and the responsibility we have to our consumers,” she added.
Watch the video below for more of Alba's then-response to The Honest Company's legal woes.