United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
C. LAMBERTH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is about applesauce. Mott's, LLP produces applesauce
and apple juice marketed as "natural" and including
"all-natural ingredients." But Beyond Pesticides-an
anti-pesticide 501(c)(3)-bought Mott's applesauce and
apple juice, tested it, and found trace synthetic pesticide
residue. Claiming reasonable consumers expect
"natural" foods to be free from synthetic
pesticides, Beyond Pesticides now sues Mott's and its
corporate parent Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. "on
behalf of the general public," invoking a D.C. law
prohibiting misrepresenting goods and misleading consumers.
See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 91-110 (citing the D.C.
Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA), D.C. Code
§§ 28-3901-28-3913), ECF No. 22.
Beyond Pesticides's case cannot proceed just because it
alleges Mott's acted unlawfully. Since the Constitution
limits federal court jurisdiction to "Cases" or
"Controversies," Art. Ill. § 2, plaintiffs
must "have a defined and personal stake in the outcome
of the litigation." Fla. Audubon Soc'y v.
Bentsen, 94 F.3d 658, 663 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (en banc).
Put differently, plaintiffs must show they have standing to
sue in federal court. At minimum, that means they suffered an
"injury in fact" that is "fairly . ..
trace[able]" to the defendant's conduct," and
"likely . . . redress[able] by a favorable
decision." Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S.
555, 560-61 (1992) (first alteration in original, internal
quotation marks and citations omitted).
extension, interest groups cannot bring a generalized
grievance on the public's behalf. See Schlesinger v.
Reservists Comm. to Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208, 216-17,
227 (1974). Instead, the organization must show it or a
member suffered a "concrete and particularized"
invasion of a legally protected interest that is "actual
or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical." Am.
Rivers v. Fed. Energy Regulatory Comm'n, 895 F.3d
32, 40-41 (D.C. Cir. 2018) (internal quotation marks omitted)
(quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560); see also
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016)
("A 'concrete' injury must be 'de
facto'; that is, it must actually exist.").
Beyond Pesticides never shows it or a member suffered an
actual injury. Although Beyond Pesticides gets close by
averring it purchased the applesauce and apple juice with its
own funds, that falls short of an economic injury sufficient
to confer standing. After all, Beyond Pesticides never
alleges it relied on the challenged labels. Rather, Beyond
Pesticides admits it purchased the products only "to
evaluate their purported qualities as a product made of
'All Natural Ingredients' or as a 'Natural'
product." Am. Compl. ¶ 31. But this Circuit
"do[es] not recognize" that "self-inflicted
harm" as an injury in fact. Abigail All. for Better
Access to Dev. Drugs v. Eschenbach, 469 F.3d 129, 133
(D.C. Cir. 2006); see Equal Rights Ctr. v. Post Props.,
Inc., 657 F.Supp.2d 197, 201 (D.D.C. 2009)
("[Organizational plaintiffs cannot establish injury
that is fairly traceable to defendants' conduct merely by
deciding to 'devote resources to identify and counteract
misinformation' . . .." (quoting Am. Farm Bureau
v. U.S. EPA, 121 F.Supp.2d 84, 100 (D.D.C. 2000)).
See generally Fair Emp't Council v. BMC Mktg
Corp., 28 F.3d 1268, 1277 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (rejecting
the "circular position" that "the time and
money that plaintiffs spend in bringing suit against a
defendant would itself constitute a sufficient 'injury in
fact"' since that" would effectively
abolish[es] the requirement altogether").
Beyond Pesticides rests on D.C. Code §
28-3905(k)(1)(c)'s provision empowering "[a]
nonprofit organization" to sue "on behalf of the
general public" for "a violation involving consumer
goods or services that the organization purchased or received
in order to test or evaluate qualities pertaining to use for
personal, household, or family purposes." Yet even if
that works in the District of Columbia's courts,
cf. Atchison v. District of Columbia, 585 A.2d 150,
153 (1991) (recognizing D.C. courts "enjoy flexibility
in regard to [the case or controversy requirement] not
possessed by the federal courts"), Beyond Pesticides
lacks the "irreducible constitutional minimum" to
sue in federal court because "Article III standing
requires a concrete injury even in the context of a statutory
violation." Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1547-49.
Simply put, the D.C. Council's "role in identifying
and elevating intangible harms does not mean that a plaintiff
automatically satisfies the injury-in-fact requirement
whenever a statute grants a person a statutory right and
purports to authorize that person to sue to vindicate that
right." Id; see also Hancock v. Urban Outfitters,
Inc., 830 F.3d 511, 514 (D.C. Cir. 2016).
Beyond Pesticides lacks standing. And consequently, the Court
lacks jurisdiction. See Grocery Mfrs. Ass'n v.
EPA, 693 F.3d 169, 147 (D.C. Cir. 2012). So the Court
GRANTS the defendants' motion  and
DISMISSES the case under Rule 12(b)(1).
 Indeed, Beyond Pesticides apparently
misreads § 28-3905: it only allows an organization to
sue on the public's behalf if it also alleges an injury
to itself or to its members. See § 28-3905(k)(1)(C)
("A nonprofit organization may, on behalf of itself or
any of its members, or on any such behalf and on behalf of
the general public, bring an action seeking relief from the