Sunday, April 13, 2008

Avoiding Eco-Imposters

"Earth Day is April 20 and many consumers hope to do their spring cleaning with ''green'' or nontoxic products. Sometimes, it's hard to tell the environmentally friendly goods from the eco-pretenders.

Terms such as ''all natural'' and ''organic'' are often misused on labels for household cleansers, shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products.

Consumer watchdogs actively scrutinize labels and test products for accuracy and safety.

In mid-March the Organic Consumers Association and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps jointly issued cease-and-desist letters to a number of companies using ''organic'' labels on merchandise made with nonorganic or petrochemical ingredients linked to cancer.

'We've grown increasingly frustrated with the companies in our industry who seem to feed off each others' misleading practices and show no inclination to clean up their formulations and live up to their organic branding claims,'' wrote David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner's.

Dr. Bronner's, a personal care company, is certified through the USDA's National Organic Program. To be certified, the product cannot contain petro-chemicals and at least 95 percent of the ingredients must be organic."

Read the article