Originally published July 5 2010
OCA exposes phony organic products
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The organic products sector continues to boom, but not everything with the word "organic" on its label is truly organic. If a product does not bear the USDA organic certification seal, it is difficult to determine whether or not it is truly organic. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is working to expose phony organic products and brands through its "Coming Clean Campaign" which aims to clean up the natural and organic personal care industry.
Currently, there are no set standards for what constitutes a "natural" or "organic" personal care product, other than for those that are USDA certified organic. As opposed to food products which are better regulated, natural care products often contain the words "natural" or "organic" either in their brand names or somewhere on their labels even when their primary, active ingredients are synthetically derived from petrochemical compounds.
Last year, the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) made formal recommendations that the National Organic Program begin to regulate personal care products as it does food products in order to ensure that products being marketed as organic receive some sort of independent certification to prove that the claim is true. OCA immediately responded to this recommendation by launching its own boycott of the major "organic cheater" brands.
Recently, OCA conducted a demonstration outside Natural Products Expo West, the largest convention of manufacturers, retailers, buyers and suppliers in the natural and organic products industry. OCA representatives held giant, five-foot-tall "sham"poo bottles at the entrance to the convention and passed out informational flyers to passersby about the products being featured at the expo that were not truly organic.
Some of the brands and products exposed by OCA as being "organic cheaters" include:
Jason Pure, Natural & Organic
Kiss My Face Obsessively Organic
Nature's Gate Organics
Stella McCartney 100% Organic
Giovanni Organic Hair Care
Desert Essence Organics
Ilike Organic Skin Care
Sapien Certified Organic
Organic Bath Co.
Though some of these brands and their respective product lines contain a few items that are USDA certified organic, the vast majority are labeled "organic" despite the fact that they are composed of synthetic and petrochemical ingredients rather than truly organic, agricultural material. Companies are selling these phony "organic" products at a premium and deceiving consumers.
OCA has also prepared a spreadsheet outlining "organic cheater" brands and how they rate on the Hazard Ranking scale designed by the Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep" Cosmetic Safety Database.
OCA also performed tests on products labeled "natural" and "organic" to see if they contained the toxic 1,4-dioxane contaminant commonly found in conventional consumer products. The results of that study were released in a recentConsumer Alert.
More information about consumer care products is available at OCA's Coming Clean Campaign.
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