98 percent of Products Claiming to be Green, Make False Claims

June 22, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Recent testimony before the congressional committee on commerce, trade and consumer protection provided some eye opening information about various fraudulent “green” claims made by manufacturers. A study conducted by the environmental consulting firm TerraChoice, found that 98 percent of environmentally friendly claims listed on products are either false or misleading.

Besides outright lies and false claims, Scot Case of TerraChoice, found that many environmental certification programs either can’t verify its claims or the claims make no sense. Making claims of being natural, green, eco-friendly or non-toxic are vague and misleading and the practice is referred to as “greenwashing.”

And manufacturers can get away with it, because there are no federal standards for manufacturers to adhere to, regarding environmental claims. With nearly 300 competing and often conflicting environmental certification programs, consumers have no way to verify any of the “green” claims.

Additionally, manufacturers are not required to list every single ingredient in its products, so reading an ingredients list would not allow a consumer to decide if a product is natural or green.

A quick look through my own cleaning products unearthed a container of Windex that now displays a prominent green sticker, with the claim, “Greenlist Ingredients. Same Great Product!” However, it contains ammonia and contains a warning to Keep out of reach of children. There is no ingredient list, but it says it doesn’t contains phosphorus.

Whether such a product is truly “green” is open to interpretation, but without full disclosure of every substance in the product, there is no way of knowing.

Congress is considering implementing new labeling standards to combat the misleading “greenwashing” of consumer products.



2 Responses to “98 percent of Products Claiming to be Green, Make False Claims”

  1. 98 percent of Products Claiming to be Green, Make False Claims Adding Info on June 22nd, 2009 3:16 pm

    […] … Read Full Post: 98 percent of Products Claiming to be Green, Make False Claims Adding Related Info:FTC To Crack Down On False Claims From Bloggers – Redorbit.comFDA Targets Fake […]

  2. Old Man Dotes on June 22nd, 2009 7:16 pm

    Why does this surprise anyone? Product claims are seldom pursued unless they are so outrageous that it’s blatantly obvious that they couldn’t possibly be true (e.g., “Cures baldness, diarrhea, cancer, sterility, and all forms of Republicanism!”). Advertisers will say anything to get the consumer’s dollar, and a complete lack of ethics is considered a major plus in the advertising/marketing business.

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