INDICATES CONSUMERS ARE CONFUSED ABOUT
ORGANIC PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT LABELING
Organic Consumers Association implemented an expansive consumer survey
in 2007. The survey results indicate consumers are
widely confused by current labeling techniques used by most popular organic
personal care products.
The survey was sculpted with the assistance of organic industry experts,
including organic personal care product manufacturers, organic certifiers,
and consumer rights protection advocates. The 19 question survey, was
taken by more than 5,500 consumers who regularly purchase organic products.
The participants of the survey represent shoppers who go out of their
way for organic products. 74% of survey respondents say that most or "a
good portion" of their personal care products contain organic ingredients.
MISUNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF "MADE WITH ORGANIC"
Nearly half of the survey respondents incorrectly believe that a product
labeled as "Made with organic ingredients" is either "all"
or "nearly all" organic ingredients. In reality, there are no
federal regulations requiring personal care products labeled as "Made
with organic ingredients" to contain any particular level of organic
ingredients, and most personal care products using this label are made
up of 70% or fewer organic ingredients.
MISUNDERSTAND WHAT "CERTIFIED" MEANS
Surprisingly, only 16% of survey respondents were aware that a personal
care product with the "USDA Certified Organic" seal on its label
is very likely more organic than a product that only lists a certifying
agency. In the actual marketplace, more than 95% of personal care products
are not organic enough to meet the criteria required to use the USDA organic
seal, and these products, which often contain multiple conventional synthetic
ingredients, simply list a certifying agency for the organic ingredients
contained in the product. According to this survey, consumers are confused
by the listing of the certifying agency or wording such as "contains
certified organic ingredients" and falsely assume it means the whole
product is organic.
HAVE STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS
Although most personal care products with organic labeling contain some
mix of synthetic ingredients, 60% of survey respondents indicated that
even products labeled as "70% organic" should not contain synthetic
ingredients and 30% said synthetics should only be allowed only if they
are manufactured from organically derived sources. This percentage may
be tempered when compared to the fact that 55% of respondents didn't know
some synthetic ingredients are currently allowed under the USDA National
Organic Program for food products. The organic personal care survey also
found that 67% of organic consumers believe that a personal care product
that is allowed to contain new additional synthetic ingredients in the
"made with" category, should require front paneling labeling
stating: "This Product Also Contains Synthetic Ingredients".
THINK PRODUCTS WITH THE WORD "ORGANIC" IN THE BRAND NAME SHOULD
REALLY BE ORGANIC
An overwhelming 98.6% of organic personal care survey respondents believe
that a product with a derivation of the word "organic" in its
brand name should either be 100% organic, or, at the very least, should
NOT contain synthetic detergents and preservative ingredients that are
not currently allowed under the NOP.
survey results are below: