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Appeals Court Reinstates Lawsuit Against Big Retailers Over Marketing Of “Organic” Milk

September 15, 2010: 10:02 PM EST

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis has partially reversed a June 2009 dismissal of a nationwide lawsuit that accuses Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Safeway and other big retailers of deceiving consumers who purchased premium-priced organic milk. The appeals court said essentially that federal organic law was not intended to pre-empt strict state consumer protection laws covering organic food marketing. The reinstated lawsuit is a consolidation of 19 different class action suits in which plaintiffs alleged that the milk cartons of Colorado milk producer Aurora Organic Dairy’s "High Meadow" brand and the retailers’ store brands claimed the milk was organic when it wasn’t. The plaintiffs also accused the companies of lying about how cows were raised and fed.

Jonathan Stempel, "REFILE-Wal-Mart, retailers must face organic milk lawsuit", Reuters, September 15, 2010, © Thomson Reuters
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