Are There Toxic Chemicals in Your "ORGANIC" Personal Care Products?

The Organic Consumers Association has stated that many so-called "organic" or "natural" product brands were actually made with toxic chemicals such as 1,4-dioxane, Olefin Sulfonate, and Amdiopropyl Betaine.
Recently, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against a number of personal care brands to force them to stop making misleading organic labeling claims. Companies sued by Dr. Bronner's include Estee Lauder, Ecocert, OASIS, Stella McCartney's CARE, Jasön, Avalon Organics, Nature's Gate, Kiss My Face, Ikove and others. Each of the companies being sued is using potentially dangerous chemicals that certainly don't qualify as natural or organic, according to Dr Bronner's.
The products include shampoo, body wash, liquid soap, skin cleansers and other personal care products. It seems that many of the companies in the "organic" products industry are flatly dishonest, and they're jumping on the organic bandwagon as a clever tactic to make a quick buck rather than formulating their products with genuinely honest organic ingredients that put consumer health first.
The major cleansing ingredient in Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic" liquid soaps, body washes and shampoos is Sodium Myreth Sulfate, a corrosive de-greaser which is cumulative in the body and is listed as hazardous on the data sheets that the US government puts out on chemicals.
The major cleansing ingredient in Avalon "Organics" soaps, bodywashes and shampoos,
Cocamidopropyl Betaine, contains conventional non-organic chemicals combined with the petrochemical Amdiopropyl Betaine. Nature's Gate "Organics" main cleansers are Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Kiss My Face "Obsessively Organic" cleansers main ingredients are Olefin Sulfonate (a pure petrochemical) and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Juice "Organics", Giovanni "Organic Cosmetics", Head "Organics", Desert Essence "Organics", and Ikove "Organic" all use CocamdiopropylBetaine. Betaine is a common cleansing ingredient and no cleansers made from it can be certified organic due to its petrochemical compounds.
Ecocert is a French-based certifier that allows cleansing ingredients made from conventional and organic agriculture. It also includes, in the cleansing ingredients contained in products labeled as "Made with Organic ingredients", certain petrochemicals such as Amidopropyl Betaine. Ecocert certifies the Ikove brands' cleansing products to contain less than 50% organic content, noted in small text on the back of the product, where all cleansing ingredients are non-organic including Cocamidopropyl Betaine. Yet the product is labeled "Organic Amazonian Avocado Bath & Shower Gel".
Another instance is Stella McCartney's "100% Organic" CARE line certified by Ecocert that labels products as "100% Organic" that are not 100% Organic alongside ones that are; the labels of products that are not 100% organic simply insert the word "Active" before "Ingredients." In allowing such labeling, Ecocert ignores the requirements of its own certification standards. The primary organic content in most Ecocert certified products comes from "Flower Waters" in which up to 80% of the "organic" content consists merely of just regular tap water that Ecocert counts as "organic."
The new Organic and Sustainable Industry Standard ("OASIS")-a standard developed exclusively by certain members of the industry, primarily Estee Lauder, with no consumer input, will permit certification of products outright as "Organic" (rather than as "Made with Organic" ingredients) even if such products contain hydrogenated and sulfated cleansing ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate made from conventional agricultural material grown with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and preserved with synthetic petrochemical preservatives such as Ethylhexylglycerin and Phenoxyethanol. The organic content is required to only be 85%, which in water and detergent-based personal care products, means organic water extracts and aloe vera will be all that is needed to convert conventional synthetic cleansing ingredients to "organic".
The OASIS standard is not only useless but deliberately misleading to organic consumers looking for a reliable indicator of true "organic" products. Organic consumers expect that cleansing ingredients in products labeled "Organic" be made from actual organic ingredients, not conventional farming methods or chemical preservatives. Surprisingly, companies represented on the OASIS board, such as Hain (Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic"; Avalon "Organics") and Cosway (Head "Organics",) produce liquid soap, bodywash and shampoo products with petrochemicals in their cleansers even though use of petrochemicals in this way is not permitted even under the very permissible OASIS standard these companies have themselves developed and endorsed.
Organic consumers have a right to expect that the personal care products they purchase with organic label claims contain cleansing ingredients made from organic material, not conventional or petrochemical material.
Rebecca Jablonski

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