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FTC Petitioned Over Misuse of "Organic" Term

Consumer Reports Files Petition Over Industry Misuse of "Organic"

Today, the publisher of Consumer Reports and the Organic Consumers Association filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission. They're asking for action against the widespread false use of the word "organic" on beauty, skin care, and personal care products.

Makes sense, since many beauty products claim to be organic or natural when they're actually nothing of the sort. The OCA is also concerned that by blatantly misusing the word "organic," irresponsible personal care companies are destroying consumer trust in the idea of organics as a whole.

What do you think? Should cosmetic and personal care companies be held to the same standard as farmers and manufacturers? And do you trust the term "organic" less because of the way it's thrown around?


Join The Conversation
GummiBears GummiBears 7 years
This should have been clearly defined and upheld at its first inception. Not playing it fast and loose where just any cosmetic company would add a smidgen of olive oil, listed at the bottom after all chemicals, and claimed to be organic.
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 7 years
But even those first to third generations seem to be fine? I watch the news every day and haven't heard of any illnesses or deaths due to non-organic foods. The point is, I'm not worried about it just yet. :) But I agree, consumers should be properly informed, it's our hard working money we are spending!
Beauty Beauty 7 years
In all fairness, organic wasn't around in my grandparents' days because a lot of farming *was* organic by default. It wasn't until the 1940s that pesticide use took off and became the standard. So we're only now seeing the first to third generations of people who have largely eaten pesticide-treated foods. FWIW I think "organic" should be regulated so that consumers are properly informed.
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 7 years
Yeah, at this point I don't believe ANYTHING is truly "organic." I think it's a marketing gimmick. And "organic" wasn't really around in my parents and grandparents days, and they seemed to get along just fine. I'm not worried about "non Organic" stuff.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
Yes and yes!
Deliciousinpink Deliciousinpink 7 years
Yes to both questions. Because of the overuse of the "organic" term in the cosmetics industry, I am always skeptical about organic cosmetic products. I am so happy to see stricter standards in the industry.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 7 years
A big 'yes' to both of your questions. I'm glad to see that companies are being called out on questionable use of the word and I hope it brings about some standards.
QueenXIX QueenXIX 7 years
Definite yes to those last two questions. The overuse of "organic" has gotten to the point that it's meaningless to me.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
Yes and a big fat YES! As you age you soon learn terms like: lite, anti-aging, less wrinkles, less sodium, reduces pore size, cholesterol free and/or cholesterol lowering, will reduce or eliminate cellulite and so on and so are fantastic marketing tools. Not to mention most of our products are made in China or somewhere besides the USA and like they really care about our gov't standards any more than our gov't does. And if you gotta beef with that, go to the DMV or Post Office for a first hand lesson.
Surfrbelle Surfrbelle 7 years
I think it's a good move because many of those products do use toxic ingredients and because there aren't enough regulations in place from the FDA, companies use the "natural" and "organic" label freely even if their products contain toxic ingredients.
curiositykat curiositykat 7 years
This is a new kind of "local-washing", a phenomenon where corporate businesses are using terms relative to the Buy Local, Go Green and Live Organic campaigns to promote mass produced products. Read more about local-washing here: It really is a fascinating trend. Stories like this one make me wonder what we can really believe about the food and products we are buying that claim to have been produced locally or organically. Comprehensive standards need to be set.
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