Organic Consumers Association

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Behind The Label: Organix's Misleading Labeling

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Coming Clean Campaign page.

With a name like Organix, you might assume that the brand in question is organic right?

You would be wrong.

The popular drug and big box store line of hair, bath and body products may share six of seven letters with the word "organic," but its products surprisingly don't contain any qualifying ingredients.

Owned by Florida-based Vogue International, Organix offers more than 70 personal care products featuring trendy, exotic-sounding ingredients like "pomegranate green tea," "awapuhi ginger," "acai berry avocado," and "Moroccan argan oil." At prices that easily compete with non-natural competitors, and distribution across major drugstores and superstores nationwide, Organix is viewed as a budget-friendly option for shoppers that desire conscience-friendly products, but don't have the funds for more expensive all-natural brands.

But how much of the brand's green marketing is real, and how much is just greenwashing? This week's Behind The Label takes a look at the good, bad, and questionable.

The Good

On its FAQ page, Organix claims that all of its products are free from sulfates and parabens, those vilified groups of compounds that are said to be toxic and carcinogenic. Sulfate compounds like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are generally added to products like shampoo and body wash as a foaming and degreasing agent, while parabens like ethyparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben are commonly present as a preservative to prevent the growth of microbes in cosmetic products. Both groups of compounds are suspect: some sulfates are said to release 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, while parabens have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation. While U.S. regulatory bodies maintain that the small amounts of sulfates and parabens in mass-market personal care products are unlikely to cause significant harm, products that are free from these ingredients are seen as safer for consumers.

Organix also says that it stands against animal testing, and that it carefully monitors all ingredients used in its products. PETA  included Organix on its most recent list of companies that do not test on animals.

Plus, Organix products are said to be sold in environmentally preferable packaging, with recycled materials and eco-friendly inks, though there was little online data to support that claim.
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