Ronnie Cummins 218-349-3836
May 5, 2003 Adam
This press release can
also be downloaded as a text file here
official complaint can be found here
Consumer Group Demands Investigation of ‘Organic’ Company
Formal Complaint Against
Avalon Natural Products Filed
CA —Today the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) filed
a formal complaint to the Director of the California Department
of Food and Agriculture State Organic Program (SOP) and
the California Department of Health Services, asking them
to investigate the false organic claims made on over 30
body care products manufactured by Avalon Natural Products.
charges that Avalon Natural Products is violating regulations
set forth by the National Organic Program and the SOP while
deliberately misleading consumers. According to the OCA,
Avalon Natural Products is: Counting the non-agricultural
water of “Organic Floral Water”—a glorified tea—as part
of the organic content of their products; Using synthetic
surfactants and preservatives in their products, some of
which are based off of petroleum; Refusing to identify the
organic certifying agency on the products’ packaging; and
Identifying products as “organic” on the front label although
these products contain un-allowed synthetic ingredients
and do not contain the minimum 70% organic content.
allows hydrosol [i.e. floral water] to be considered an
organic ingredient, it sets a precedent on a national level
that could ultimately render the Organic Standards Act useless,”
says Simon Harris, OCA National Campaign Director, “We are
filing this claim because consumers have demanded stringent
organic standards and we cannot ignore Avalon’s misleading
tactics any longer,” adds Harris.
Products is one of several body care companies in question
with synthetic surfactant based products that proclaim “organic”
by adding floral waters. These waters are claimed to somehow be key functional
components of their products.
However, hydrosols (versus water “extracts”) did
not exist as an ingredient in body care formulations until
companies started to use them to make fraudulent inflated
organic claims. Not
only is the presence of these waters largely insignificant
and inconsequential, their actual organic content is extremely
minimal since they are almost completely water. Nonetheless,
various so-called “natural” body care manufacturers, such
as Avalon Natural Products, are using these waters to green-wash
their products and make organic label claims, even though
their formulations are in fact largely composed of the same
conventional synthetic cleansers, conditioners and preservatives
found in mainstream products. On the front panels of their products, these
companies assert “70% organic ingredients” to mislead consumers
into thinking that they are buying mostly organic products
when they assuredly are not.
Organic Standards Act of 2003 stipulates a mandatory 70
percent minimum weight of non-water/non-salt agricultural
organic content in a product for a “Made with Organic” label
claim to be made on the front panel, and expressly forbids
synthetic ingredients not allowed under the federal NOP. The OCA has demanded that organic body care
standards should mirror the standards for organic food products.
This means that:
- Certified organic agricultural feed-stocks are utilized
exclusively, versus petroleum or conventional vegetable
feed-stocks, in the manufacture of the key basic cleansing
and conditioning ingredients.
- Manufacture of such ingredients is ecological.
- The toxicity of each ingredient is minimal.
- Non-agricultural water is not counted in any shape
or form as contributing to organic content.
The OCA is a grassroots nonprofit organization concerned
with food safety, organic farming, sustainable agriculture,
fair trade and genetic engineering.
ASSOCIATION · 6101 CLIFF
ESTATE ROAD · LITTLE MARAIS, MN 55614 USA
· Fax: 218-353-7652· email: firstname.lastname@example.org