Eden Foods Lawsuit Against Birth Control Mandate Prompts Severe Social Media Backlash

Plenty of folks with cans of Eden Foods’ organic black beans in their kitchen pantry were surprised to learn that the oldest independent organic food producer in the United States has teamed up with the Thomas More Law Center to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraceptive rule.

Irin Carmon at Salon broke the story in article that describes how the company that markets itself to a liberal clientele has begun to quietly pursue a right-wing ideological agenda. The lawsuit claims that the contraception rule violates Eden Foods owner Michael Potter’s religious freedom under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring him to cover contraception, which he believes “almost always involves immoral and unnatural practices.”

The outcry on social media was swift and fierce. Here’s a small sampling of the comments that have flooded Eden Foods’ Facebook page (and rumors of comment deletion abound).


Organic food consumers are most likely to be liberal-leaning female millennials. With 72% of Democrats and 50% of women overall supporting the contraception rule, it seems Eden Foods did not take their consumer’s interest into consideration before deciding to fight to deny their female employees access to health insurance coverage for their contraception needs.


Eden Foods is just one of 28 for-profit companies that have filed lawsuits against the contraception rule. These companies range from Hobby Lobby, an arts and craft chain super store, to Tonn and Blank Construction, an Indiana based construction company. Many of these companies were unwittingly providing their employees with contraception coverage before the contraception rule was announced and now want the right to take away that coverage (including the plaintiffs in Tonn and Blank, Yep, O’Brien, Annex Medical, Korte, Briscoe, Armstrong, Hall, and Infrastructure Alternatives).

How will the blow back from this lawsuit effect Eden Foods profits? Will they receive enough consumer pressure to drop their claim? 

I know I’ll think twice about who I’m buying my organic soy milk from the next time I shop at Whole Foods; if I’m gonna break the bank on your products, they better support my rights!

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Alison Tanner

Alison is a recent graduate of the University of California - Davis, where she studied political science and women's studies and served the student body as an ASUCD Senator. She is currently a legal assistant for the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project. Views expressed here are her own.

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