The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Alexis Baden-Mayer 202-744-0853, -
Ronnie Cummins 218-349-3836

This Holiday Season: Boycott of 'Organic Cheater' Brands - 'Buycott' of Certified Natural & Organic Personal Care

Leading Consumer Watch Dog Group Gives Organic Cheater Brands One Month to Commit to Stop Deceptive Branding


September 24, 2009 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center,
thousands of personal care products that claim to be "natural" and
"organic" will be on display as retail store buyers from across
the globe attend one of the most important natural products' trade
shows of the
year. This gathering will also mark the launch date of a new phase of
the Coming
Clean Campaign, led by the nation's largest organic consumer group, the
Consumers Association (OCA), in support of the recommendation by
the Certification, Accreditation, and Compliance Committee of the USDA
Organic Standards Board, "Solving the Problem of Mislabeled Organic
Personal Care Products." (To view
the recommendation, see OCA link at bottom of release.) The
urges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to regulate personal care
products as they do food in order to clean up rampant organic fraud in
personal care marketplace. The full NOSB Board will be considering and
on this recommendation at its Nov. 3-5 meeting in Washington D.C.

To encourage USDA NOP enforcement of organic personal care, the OCA
will launch a
full scale consumer boycott of all brands falsely labeled as Organic
who do not
contractually commit by October 26, 2009 to certification
of their natural and organic claims by October 31, 2009. Unlike organic
foods, many personal care products are falsely labeled as
organic, although their main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients are
from non-organic
pesticide-intensive agricultural and/or petrochemical material. The OCA
will also conduct a full-scale 'buy-cott' of all responsible brands
that already are certifying their natural and organic label claims.
"The organic retail store buyer's job is to think
like a fastidious organic consumer who pays a premium for organic
whose main ingredients benefit the earth and their health, by being
without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and being free of
compounds," says Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director of the OCA.
OCA wants these buyers to know misleadingly labeled brands are on their
way out
starting this holiday season, unless they formulate away from
ingredients made
entirely or partly of petrochemicals."

"One would think synthetic petroleum products would not
be accepted in the organic marketplace, but sadly they are everywhere," says
Baden-Mayer. "We will name the offending brands to boycott as well as the
responsible brands that people should buy. We are giving companies one last
opportunity to commit to clean up and certify their formulations and/or branding
labeling to comply with basic natural
and organic criteria," adds Baden-Mayer whose group
previously exposed 'natural' and 'organic' brands that contained the probable carcinogen 1,4 dioxane.

September 24, 2009 until October 2631, 2009 the OCA will
give all organic cheater brands the opportunity
to contractually commit to certification of their natural and organic claims in one
year's time, by November 1, 2010 to the following standards, or drop those claims including
the term "Organics" in branding. (The full contract is available through
the link to OCA's Coming Clean page at the bottom of this release.)

1) For "outright 'Organic" and "made with
Organic [specified ingredients]"' product claims (eg.
"Organic Lotion" or "Lotion made with Organic Oils")
products must be certified under the USDA National Organic ProgramOP 'Organic'.(See

2) For a more restricted "made with Organic [specified
ingredients]" claim (eg. "Lotion made with Organic Aloe Vera"), or"Contains Organic
Ingredients" claim, products must certify to either:
preferably one, the USDA NOP O70 "made with Organic" or under the "NSF-ANSI
305 " "Contains Organic
Ingredients" standard. (See; or two,
to another private standard of their choice such as NaTrueor BDIH, but
must nonetheless comply fully with NSF-ANSI 305 criteria for organic content
and allowed and disallowed processing of ingredients..)

3) For 'Natural' product claims, eg. "Natural
Lotion", products must be certified to one, preferably the Natural
Product's Association Natural Standard

Products certified under other foreign private
standards must cross-certify to the relevant US standard
and abide by the organic content requirement, processing
and preservative allowances, and
labeling restrictions, thereof. ; or two, to another natural
standard such as NaTrue or BDIH but which must nonetheless meet all criteria of
the NPA standard and not contain NPA disallowed ingredients which other
'natural' standards may permit.

The Coming Clean
Campaign has been working to clean up the natural and organic personal care
industry for the past six years. To view Certification Commitment Contract, the
NOSB Recommendation or for other information on the Coming Clean Campaign, go

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit public interest organization, and the only organization in the U.S. focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million consumers of organically and socially responsibly produced food and other products. OCA educates and advocates on behalf of organic consumers, engages consumers in marketplace pressure campaigns, and works to advance sound food and farming policy through grassroots lobbying. We address crucial issues around food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability, including pesticide use, and other food- and agriculture-related topics.