WASHINGTON — A District of Columbia Superior Court judge announced on Dec. 15 that it denied Smithfield Foods’ request to dismiss a lawsuit that was filed by the Organic Consumer Association (OCA) earlier in 2020.

The company said it will continue to fight the case.

“The press release issued by Organic Consumers Association’s (“OCA”) mischaracterizes the Court’s order, which did not address the merits of OCA’s claims,” said Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer for Smithfield Foods. “Smithfield intends to vigorously defend the case. Smithfield stands behind its statements regarding the safety of its food products.”

The initial lawsuit, filed in May, accused Smithfield of misleading consumers by calling its pork the safest US born and bred products possible.

Smithfield filed a motion to dismiss the case in August. The pork company stated that the OCA lacked standing with its claims and that the statements are “too general to be actionable.” 

The court disagreed with Smithfield’s arguments for dismissal but did not comment on OCA’s arguments in the ongoing case.

The OCA released a statement following the decision by Judge Florence Pan.

"We are pleased that the court agrees that Smithfield, a producer of industrial factory farm pork, should be held accountable for claims the company makes about the safety of its products and production practices," said Ronnie Cummins director of OCA International.

The entire update to the case can be found here.