6 comments to “Dueling Labels Seek to Anoint Products Free of Toxic Chemicals”

  1. Wayne

    Although there may be short-comings, this is still a step in the right direction. Even though the cost is based on the size of the company, it should be much lower so that manufacturers would be willing to sign on. With toxic substances and GMOs, constantly in the news, brands are finally listening to their consumer base.

  2. Alberto Saavedra

    When consumers have easy access to information about a product environmental, health and social justice footprints that they can trust they will start voting with their wallets. To be trusted, the information has to offer full transparency.

  3. Jenny Splitter

    No, you can’t become a “weekend toxicologist” and, no, that something is made at home or in your community is no guarantee that it’s safe. Regarding EWG’s credibility, I’ll just leave this here: http://www.salon.com/2016/02/07/my_food_paranoia_wake_up_call_the_ewg_wants_us_to_be_afraid_of_the_food_we_feed_our_kids_heres_why_i_refuse/

  4. Pat

    Thanks to all who work hard to protect our families!
    In the meantime there is an amazing free app that has over 3.5 brands listed with their product ingredients:
    Think Dirty – Cosmetic Ingredients Ratings, Barcode Scanning, Natural and Organic Beauty Products Recommendations by Think Dirty Inc.

  5. Matthew Mabey

    The problem with these entrepreneurial certifications is that from the outside looking in their primary objective is revenue and the touted mission is secondary (or occasionally worse). In some cases they are projecting a false sense of security. In others they are stifling improvement or innovation because their private criteria and/or list becomes a standard that hasn’t been properly vetted or maintained. In addition to those listed in this article, I would add examples like LEED, Consumer Reports, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. I have no idea of the real motives and goals of any of these organizations and their employees, but in observing their activities I can see the flaws and shortcomings that emerge from their entrepreneurial roots. Do I need to create a labeling and certification watchdog organization that certifies these organizations? What is the mechanism for monitoring and improving these organizations? They do tend to become ossified in their practices, regardless of initial quality.
    I ought to be able to build (and even get PR credit for) a green building without having to pay some private business. In fact, I might innovate an even better building by not being limited by the LEED formulas. They actively promulgate the idea that a LEED certified building is inherently better that a non-LEED certified one. The certification itself accomplishes nothing, and their methodology limits creativity in design and construction. Likewise, I ought to be able to sell a safe, toxin free product without having to pay some other private business (or two, or three).
    I like the idea of Skin Deep, so far as I understand it. They are helping consumers be aware of the ingredients and the potential hazards. It doesn’t appear that they charge a fee from those being evaluated in this way, but I’ve only briefly looked over their website. I’m less convinced that this next step of “EWG Verified” is an improvement or progress.

  6. Stephen Ashkin

    There is no doubt that “seals of approval” make it easier for consumers to find safer products especially for personal care and cleaning products. But the author missed probably the 3 most important certifications for cleaning products out there. Green Seal, EcoLogo (which is owned by Underwriters Labs) and EPA’s Safer Choice Program (formerly Design for the Environment). Each is a strong program with their standards developed in an open and consensus based manner, plus they include both ingredient disclosure and a product performance requirement, and they actually verify that the manufacturer is actually doing what they say through a factory audit. For cleaning products, these are the 3 labels I highly recommend looking for.

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