Truly Organic Companies Suing Over Misuse of the Word "Organic"

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Truly Organic Companies Suing Over Misuse of the Word "Organic" Truly Organic Companies Suing Over Misuse of the Word "Organic"
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Truly Organic Companies Suing Over Misuse of the Word "Organic"

by Siobhan O'Connor

January 31, 2010
Things are heating up in the organic beauty products department, and it was only a matter of time. As it stands, the so-called "organic" personal care industry-from toothpaste and bar soap to shampoo and mascara-is a total free-for-all. There are very few rules in place about what companies can and can't say to sell you a product, as well as what they actually put in the product itself, which is what makes this new lawsuit so juicy and exciting: Several certified organic companies (like Dr. Bronner's and Intelligent Nutrients) have filed a complaint with the USDA's National Organic Program against allegedly fake-organic companies (like Jason, Kiss My Face, and Nature's Gate) for misuse of that ubiquitous buzzword.Why? Glance down the aisle of any pharmacy and you'll see the word all over the place; this is doubly true at any Whole Foods or health food store. And yet lots of the products branded as organic are far from it, and the ones who are jumping through hoops to get certified think that's unfair (and illegal).With food, the laws are stricter; there are federal regulations in place about what can and cannot be branded "100% organic," "organic," "made with organic ingredients," etc. These rules don't extend to products, though, which means when you see "organic" on the label of your shampoo, you're going on faith that it's true-which can get sketchy, as we saw earlier this week with the H&M scandal.What's your stance? Do you buy organic personal care products? Do you think there should be stricter laws in place, like there are with food?
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