Dr. Bronner’s Activism Campaign Against Fake Organic Brands

Whew! Why is it so hard for us to believe? It is very disappointing to hear about so much greenwashing going on. Consumers, we have to be on our toes!

Dr. Bronner’s press release:

Top-selling natural soap brand Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps applauds the final recommendation by the Certification, Accreditation, and Compliance Committee (CACC) of the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) on Solving the Problem of Mislabeled Organic Personal Care Products set forth this week. The recommendation urges the National Organic Program (NOP) to regulate personal care products and “ensure consumers and businesses alike that the products have an unquestioned home in the USDA National Organic
Program.” The current regulatory approach fails to protect consumers from misleading and deceptive organic labeling of personal care because compliance with the NOP is currently voluntary, not mandatory.

President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, David Bronner said, “Dr. Bronner’s strongly believes that the best and most effective way to protect consumers of organic personal care products is for the USDA to make the National Organic Program (NOP) standards mandatory for personal care. We applaud this recommendation as a step forward in improving the current regulatory regime.” The Certification, Accreditation and Compliance Committee will present the recently released document to the NOSB at its public meeting in early November for a vote. Dr. Bronner’s full formal comments submitted to the NOSB can be found at the link below. In related news, Whole Foods is requiring that all supposedly “natural” and “organic” personal care products in their stores test below 10 parts per million for the probable carcinogen 1,4 Dioxane. 1,4 Dioxane is produced when the petrochemical Ethylene Oxide is attached to primary cleansing and moisturizing ingredients in a process called Ethoxylation. “We’re fed up with organic cheater brands who use high-foaming ethoxylated detergents in bodywashes and shampoos that produce 1,4 Dioxane contamination” says David Bronner. “Petrochemical compounds like Ethylene Oxide have no place in organic personal care ingredients. This is just
one of many violations of basic organic criteria by organic cheater brands, and demonstrates why federal NOP regulation is necessary.”

In July, Dr. Bronner’s filed its Second Amended Complaint against numerous personal care companies that use non-organic pesticide-intensive agricultural and/or petrochemical material to make the main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients of their mislabeled ‘Organic’ products. That Complaint charges defendants with false advertising in violation of the federal Lanham Act, based on the fact that the labeling and marketing of their products as “Organic” is misleading and confusing consumers. Defendants had the case transferred to federal district court in San Jose, CA and moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that USDA/NOP is considering
regulating personal care products even though these same defendants strongly oppose such regulation. Arguments on those motions will be held on Friday, September 25. The entire Second Amended Complaint along with background on the case is posted online at:
http://www.drbronner.com/usda_organic_body_care.html
###

On their website, we’re urged to boycott these “fake” organic brands.
Amazon Organics, Avalon Organics, Desert Essence Organics, Earth’s Best Organic, Giovanni Organic Cosmetics, Head Organics, JASON Pure Natural and Organic, Nature’s Gate Organics, Organics by Noah’s Naturals

Dr. Bronners also urges us to buy these certified USDA organic brands.
Alteya Organics, Baby Bear Shop, Badger, Bubble and Bee Organic, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Indian Meadow Herbals, Intelligent Nutrients, Kimberly Parry Organics, Little Angel, Mercola, Miessence Certified Organics, Nature’s Paradise, OGmama and OGbaby, Organicare, Organic Essence, Origins Organics, Purely Shea, Rainwater Organic Lotion, Rose Tattoo Aftercare, SoCal Cleanse, Sensibility Soaps/Nourish, Terressentials, Trillium Organics, Vermont Soap

Do you look for the certification logo when you buy?

Maybe going with the word “Organic” on the label isn’t enough.

Read more about the campaign

Dr. Bronner’s video on the topic:

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About Lynn

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7 Responses to Dr. Bronner’s Activism Campaign Against Fake Organic Brands

  1. Pingback: Greenwahsing « Healing Environmental Illness

  2. Pingback: An eco-friendly, green world « Always Well Within ~

  3. What about fake organic food? USDA is trying to get open pen fish farms certified as organic and so is Canada. I’ll find the links and post them here and I’ll send my Avalon and Jason brand shampoo to the hazardous waste collection.
    Good info – I think there is a petition somewhere on the Internet about cosmetics too.

  4. Hi Lynn,
    Here is a link to sign and send a protest letter to the FDA who are going to approve the production and sale of (GMO) salmon by the FDA (unless there is enough opposition) . Canadians can join the campaign.

    take action:
    http://cfs.convio.net/site/R?i=KzPn3Gx66qfDXP04OyUxgA

    quote from a newsletter from http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org
    “The human health impacts of eating GE fish are entirely unknown, but some scientific research raises cause for alarm: for example, some scientists have asserted that foreign growth hormones in transgenetic fish may increase production of other compounds such as insulin in the fish. Additionally, FDA has recognized that a transgene cannot be “turned off” once it is inserted in the organism, and will therefore have effects that are uncontrollable.”

    Here is a link to protest the organic certification of feed lot fish farms:
    http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dElVTFY0d1JqMGRYR2F6Vnp3QjEzRnc6MQ

    I just sent a letter to Minister Aglukkaq to protest the genetically modified (GM) pig
    called “Enviropig™” which has been produced by splicing mouse and
    bacteria genes into a pig in hope that it is never approved for human consumption in
    Canada. I asked her to immediately reject the request for approval of
    “Enviropig™” submitted by the University of Guelph.

    I’ll post a link to the organization that is working to stop GE meat.

  5. Hi there,
    This was a news letter I received and I think Lucy’s group is also protesting the “enviropig” with the Geneticly modified mice genes that we will be eating in pork . Perhaps you can blog about this group who are trying to protect us from GE food.
    All the best
    priscilla

    Lucy Sharratt – CBAN Coordinator
    Date: August 30, 2010 5:39:51 AM PDT (CA)
    Subject: [cban e-News] Coalition Demands FDA Approval of Controversial GE Fish

    Please see below that CBAN has issued a joint press statement as part of a coalition of 31 consumer, animal welfare and environmental groups, along with commercial and recreational fisheries associations and food retailers.

    COALITION DEMANDS FDA DENY APPROVAL OF CONTROVERSIAL GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FISH

    FDA Considers Approval of GE Salmon–the First GE Food Animal–Yet Fails to Inform the Public of Environmental and Economic Risks

    August 27, 2010
    JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

    CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY – FOOD AND WATER WATCH – SALMONAID- NORTHWEST ATLANTIC MARINE ALLIANCE – ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION – FRIENDS OF THE EARTH – THE LIVING OCEANS SOCIETY – SMALL BOAT COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION – THE GEORGIA STRAIT ALLIANCE – CALIFORNIANS FOR GE-FREE AGRICULTURE – THE ORGANIC & NON-GMO REPORT – PLANETARY HEALTH, INC. – SIERRA CLUB – SAY NO TO GMOS! – CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH – CANADIAN BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION NETWORK – INSTITUTE FOR FISHERIES RESOURCES – AMERICAN ANTI-VIVISECTION SOCIETY – PACIFIC COAST FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN’S ASSOCIATION – MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT – FOOD FIRST / INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY – EDEN FOODS, INC. – THE NON-GMO PROJECT – NORTHWEST RESISTANCE AGAINST GENETIC ENGINEERING –PCC NATURAL MARKETS – AMBERWAVES – GLOUSTER FISHERMEN’S WIVES ASSOCIATION – FRESH THE MOVIE – WASHINGTON BIOTECHNOLOGY ACTION COUNCIL – OREGON PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

    Washington, DC August 27, 2010 – A coalition of 31 consumer, animal welfare and environmental groups, along with commercial and recreational fisheries associations and food retailers submitted a joint statement criticizing an announcement this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it will potentially approve the long-shelved AquAdvantage transgenic salmon as the first genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption.

    The engineered Atlantic salmon being considered was developed by AquaBounty Technologies, which artificially combined growth hormone genes from an unrelated Pacific salmon,(Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) with DNA from the anti-freeze genes of an eelpout (Zoarces americanus). This modification causes production of growth-hormone year-round, creating a fish the company claims grows at twice the normal rate. This could allow factory fish farms to crowd fish into pens and still get high production rates.

    Each year millions of farmed salmon escape from open-water net pens, outcompeting wild populations for resources and straining ecosystems. “We believe any approval of GE salmon would represent a serious threat to the survival of native salmon populations, many of which have already suffered severe declines related to salmon farms and other man-made impacts,” Marianne Cufone, director of Food and Water Watch’s fish program said.

    If the FDA opens this door, GE fish will likely be among the millions of salmon that currently escape from open ocean pens every year. This could be the last blow to wild salmon stocks and in turn the thousands of men and women who depend on fishing for their livelihoods. “Approving genetically engineered salmon is a sharp contradiction to the agreements the United States has signed at NASCO, where transgenic salmonids are considered a serious threat to wild salmon” said Boyce Thorne Miller, Science and Policy Coordinator for the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and accredited observer at the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization.

    Escaped GE salmon can pose an additional threat – genetic pollution resulting from what scientists call the “Trojan gene” effect.” Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences notes that a release of just sixty GE salmon into a wild population of 60,000 would lead to the extinction of the wild population in less than 40 generations.

    Anticipating the stark danger to our fisheries and ocean environments – and trying to circumvent analyses of those dangers – AquaBounty has claimed that they will only raise their fish in land-based facilities. However most salmon farmers in the real world ply their trade in low-lying coastal areas and competing corporations will no doubt race to produce GE fish in crowded open ocean facilities already in use for fish production. Backsliding on its original claims, reports have circulated that AquaBounty may only suggest producers raise GE fish in “inland waters” – presenting novel threats to our nation’s lakes, rivers, and estuaries – many of which are already under attack by invasive fish species like the Asian carp and Northern snakehead.

    “FDA’s decision to go ahead with this approval process is misguided and dangerous, and is made worse by its complete lack of data to review” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director for the Center for Food Safety. “FDA has been sitting on this application for 10 years and yet it has chosen not to disclose any data about its decision until just a few days before the public meeting.”

    On Wednesday, FDA officials announced that they had begun the approval process for the engineered salmon and have scheduled public meetings beginning Sunday, September 19. Speakers wishing to present oral comments are expected to submit their requests in writing by September 7th; one day after the FDA has said it may post “some” of the data to its website. “This is not a process that leads to full and informed public participation,” said Charles Margulis, Sustainable Food Program Coordinator for the Center for Environmental Health.

    FDA announced the same day that it will hold a public comment period and a hearing on labeling for the transgenic salmon, which seems to presuppose that the controversial GE fish will be approved. If the GE fish is approved, Agency officials are undecided as to whether they will require any product labeling.

    “We all know there is a great appetite for salmon, but the solution is not to ‘farm’ genetically engineered versions to put more on our dinner tables; the solution is to work to bring our wild salmon populations back” said Jonathan Rosenfield, PhD, a Conservation Biologist and President of the SalmonAID Foundation, a 28-member coalition of commercial, tribal, and sportfishing interests, conservation organizations and chefs. “The approval of these transgenic fish will only exacerbate the problems facing our wild fisheries.”

    Contacts:
    George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety: 571-527-8618
    Jaydee Hanson, Center for Food Safety: 202-547-9359 (w); 703-231-5956 (c)
    Marianne Cufone, Food and Water Watch: 202-683-2511
    Niaz Dorry, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance: 508-982-3748
    Jonathan Rosenfield, PhD, SalmonAID Foundation: 510-684-4757

    Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
    Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
    Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
    431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
    Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.6
    Fax: 613 241 2506
    coordinator AT cban.ca
    http://www.cban.ca

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