Organic Personal Care Products – Are They Really Safe?

24 Jun

In a recent press release the Center for Environmental Health identified 26 companies that are engaged in the business of selling personal care products that are mislabeled as “Organic”. Sadly, this is not the first time that the personal care industry has been called out on ingredients contained in their products and labeling on their packaging.  At the center of the lawsuit is The California Organic Products Act of 2003, specifically section 110838.(a) of the Health and Safety codes that quote “Cosmetic products sold, labeled, or represented as organic or made with organic ingredients shall contain, at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients.” (Organic Products Act of 2003).

As I researched the 2003 act I found that the California Organic Program is the agency that is responsible for upholding the enforcement of the California Organic Products Act of 2003 as well as the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. This agency works in conjunction with many other agencies and organizations that help coordinate and facilitate enforcement actions necessary for regulation of organic foods and product. One very notable agency is our very own USDA!  So you may be getting the idea right about now that this is not just a California issue, this is a big deal and it could have a significant impact on the labeling of skin care and cosmetics industry wide, in my opinion this is not necessarily a bad thing. Considering the far reaching impact of this lawsuit, many major retailers are carrying these alleged mislabeled products and that are being distributed in mass quantities to consumers who may not be ingredient savvy. If there are truly toxic ingredients contained in the product being distributed by the companies mentioned in the lawsuit, the labels should provide clear warning to the consumer for the purpose of making an educated choice about what they are putting on themselves or their children. While reading the press release, the example of toxic ingredients reported on was a children’s hair care product that reportedly contains ingredients that are known to cause cancer. The article went on to provide examples of the warning labels stating blindness and serious injury if the product(s) was not properly used.

What do you think? Is this all hype? Or do you feel this is a serious matter? Should consumers be concerned about companies that are intentionally or otherwise mislabeling their goods?  Please post a comment and share your thoughts.

Sources/Information: Center for Environmental Health (CEH), View the full list of personal care products companies at CEH, The California Organic Program, Organic Products Act of 2003, News Coverage


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