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Beauty Company Must Pay FTC $1.76M for Falsely Labeling Products as Organic and Vegan — How Not to Get Duped

A brand sold at Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters ‘harmed consumers,’ the FTC said

A beauty brand that hawks lip plumpers and CBD-infused facial masks has been accused of falsely labeling its products as organic and vegan.

Miami Beach-based Truly Organic will pay $1.76 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint that the company deceived shoppers by labeling its products as organic and vegan. An FTC investigation revealed that some Truly Organic products contained no organic ingredients at all, and others contained ingredients that were not vegan, including honey and lactose, according to the FTC complaint.

“This conduct distorted competition for organic products, inflicting harm on honest producers,” FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra said in a statement. Truly Organic and CEO Maxx Appelman also “harmed consumers, some of whom may have purchased their products for health reasons,” it added.

The case is the latest reminder to shoppers to read labels with a skeptical eye, and to think twice before shelling out extra money for products whose labels are brimming with buzzwords. Consumers are increasingly drawn to products whose labels tout “clean” attributes such as organic or cruelty-free, a 2017 analysis by market research firm Nielsen found. And they’re willing to pay more for brands that market themselves as “sustainable,” a broad term that can include organic, a previous Nielsen report found.