June 23, 2011

"Organic" Brands Sued

Personal care products are far less regulated than you would think. You may have heard that on June 16th the Center for Environmental Health filed a lawsuit against more than 30 cosmetic brands. The suit claims that these companies falsely labeled their products as organic for marketing purposes. This is a perfect example of greenwashing.

Let's first review the rules for organic labeling. If a product uses the word "organic," it must be composed of more than 70% organic ingredients, according to a 2003 California law. However, the companies under scrutiny aren't doing this, states the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). These companies are using far less than 70% organic ingredients and claiming otherwise. Companies included in this lawsuit are: Kiss my Face, Aubrey Organics, Beauty Without Cruelty, and Nature’s Baby.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Last month, the CEH filed a similar claim against Jason, Avalon Organics and Alba Botanicals. The CEH claims that these brands do contain some organic ingredients, but not enough to warrant a difference and that many of them contain synthetic chemicals. I have seen these brands on shelves and even bought some of them myself.

These companies will have plenty of displeased customers. Shoppers are willing to pay more for organic, natural products, and in this case they were mislead.

What makes me sad is that I'm not surprised.

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