Based on the mounting consumer confusion regarding “green” product claims, the Federal Trade Commission rewrote its Green Guides to lay out specific guidelines for what manufacturers can and can’t claim about “green products.”
I heard an FTC representative on a conference panel put it in a nutshell: “ ‘Green’ is an unsubstantiated claim.” And so are words like “organic,” natural” and “pure.” Based on such product claims, the FTC has filed suits against companies from Amazon to Sherwin-Williams.
“Sunscreen, yogurt, cereal, baby shampoo, deodorant, orange juice, milk, soap, toothpaste, vitamins, margarine, sneakers, granola bars, baby food, ice cream, diet margarita drink mix, bottled water, cosmetics—even cranberries and cat litter—have been targets,” wrote attorney Kristin E. Polovoy in Corporate Counsel.
As a rule, be careful about describing products as
- environmentally friendly, or