Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oganic Consumers Association and Dr. Bronners Sue "Organic" and "Natural" Brands for False Claims

--trends + business + politics--

"We have been deeply disappointed and frustrated by companies in the 'natural' personal care space who have been screwing over organic consumers, engaging in misleading organic branding and label call-outs, on products that were not natural in the first place, let alone organic." said David Bronner, referring to a lawsuit his company filed on April 28, 2008 against a slate of "organic" and "natural" personal care brands that Bronner asserts are simply not.

The family owned business filed suit in California to stop such companies from making misleading labeling claims. Bronners alongside with the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has warned offending brands that they will face litigation unless they either drop claims or reformulate their products to not include conventional agriculture and/or petrochemical material, without any certified organic material.

For example: The major cleansing ingredient in Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic" liquid soaps, body washes and shampoos is Sodium Myreth Sulfate, which involves ethoxylating a conventional non-organic fatty chain with the carcinogenic petrochemical Ethylene Oxide, which produces caricinogenic 1,4-Dioxane as a contaminant. The major cleansing ingredient in Avalon "Organics" soaps, bodywashes and shampoos, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, contains conventional non-organic agricultural material combined with the petrochemical Amdiopropyl Betaine. Nature's Gate "Organics" main cleansers are Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (ethoxylated) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Kiss My Face "Obsessively Organic" cleansers are Olefin Sulfonate (a pure petrochemical) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Juice "Organics", Giovanni "Organic Cosmetics", Head "Organics", Desert Essence "Organics", and Ikove "Organic" all use Cocamdiopropyl Betaine as a main cleansing ingredient and no cleansers made from certified organic material. Due to the petrochemical compounds used to make the ingredient, Cocamidopropyl Betaine is contaminated with traces of Sodium monochloroacetate, Amidoamine (AA), and dimethylaminopropylamine(DMAPA). Amidoamine in particular is suspected of causing skin sensitization and allergic reactions even at very low levels for certain individuals.

Organic consumers have a right to expect that the personal care products they purchase with organic branding or label claims, contain cleansing ingredients made from organic agricultural material, not conventional or petrochemical material, and thus have absolutely no petrochemical contaminants that could pose any concern.

In addition the lawsuit also names Estee Lauder, Stella McCartney's CARE, Ecocert and OASIS.

Here is footage of a press conference from the Organic Consumers Association.

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