Panic! It’s Not Organic.

Brandweek has an upsetting piece on greenwashing.

Seventh Generation, Method and other leading personal care and cleaning brands may soon face lawsuits if they don’t remove the word “organic” from their labeling and marketing by Sept. 1. The ultimatum comes following a recent investigation by the Organic Consumers Assn., which uncovered a potentially carcinogenic contaminant in various products.
The OCA investigated nearly 100 organic cosmetic, personal care and household cleaning formulas, and found that nearly 50% of them contain detectable levels of 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in lab animals. None of the manufacturers disclosed this information on their labels, even though many had levels greater than 1,000 times the acceptable level.
The biggest offenders were the “natural” dish detergents, including Citrus Magic 100% Natural Dish Liquid, Earth Friendly Products Ultra Dishmate, Method Dish Naturally Derived Ultra Concentrate, Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid and Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid.
Brands found not to contain 1,4-dioxane include Burt’s Bees, Clorox Green Works, Avalon Organics and Dr. Bronner’s.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestLinkedInRedditStumbleUponEmailDiggShare
About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • http://www.seventhgeneration.com chrystie

    Hi David,
    Seventh Generation is very concerned about ingredient disclosure and transparency, and we applaud the Organic Consumer Association’s (OCA) recent research efforts to educate consumers about the safety of personal care and home cleaning products. It is important for consumers to know that Seventh Generation’s dish liquid, which does contain a minute amount of the ethoxylate 1,4-dioxane, is deemed safe according to the FDA’s and our own strict guidelines.
    We are committed to eliminating all harmful chemicals from household cleaning products. Consistent with our core mission, we have worked with surfactant manufacturers for many years to reduce levels of 1,4-dixoane in ethoxylated surfactants and it is our intent to completely eliminate 1,4-dioxane from all of our products.
    We share the OCA’s concerns about the misuse of terms such as “organic” and “natural” and the lack of disclosure requirements. We have championed this cause and have led the market for twenty years. We also believe that the decision to stop using conventional synthetic chemical cleaners is one of the most important ones you’ll ever make for the health of your family and the safety of your home. While our products are not perfect today, we will continue to improve them and are confident that they are a much better and safer choice than traditional cleaning products.
    For more information about Seventh Generation’s commitment to consumers, please visit our 7th Gen blog!.
    Again, thank you for keeping your audience informed.
    Chrystie Heimert, Seventh Generation