Submission Number: 00036
Received: 10/29/2010 9:13:01 AM
Commenter: James Columbia
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims; Project No. P954501
Attachments: No Attachments
According to a new study, companies hungry for our "green" dollars are making unsubstantiated environmental claims in a practice called "greenwashing." Most shocking is the report's assertion that all those claims about "safe," "BPA and phthalates-free" plastic baby bottles, toys, and pacifiers are for the most part for the birds. That's right: We've been tricked into sticking toxins back into our kids' mouths.
As reported in The Wall Street Journal, more than 95 percent of the some 5,000 consumer products examined by TerraChoice, the environmental-marketing company that issued the study, were found to be "fibbing about or having no proof of environmental claims, vague or poorly defined marketing language, such as 'all-natural,' and [using] fake labels designed to imply a product has third-party certification or endorsement of its claims." The report says not one of the "green" toys now flooding the market was free of greenwashing, and that less than 1 percent of baby products were "sin free."
All this disturbing news only drives home the message made by Annie Leonard in her latest "Story of Stuff" vlog. As Leonard points out, no matter how hard we as individuals try to make safe choices, we need our leaders in Washington to take a cue from Canada -- which is well on its way to banning bisphenol A (BPA) after officially declaring it a toxin -- and get busy protecting us, too.