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  • FTC cites 6 companies for bad degradability claims.

  • FTC ordered companies to stop making zero VOC claims for their paints because the VOCs released upon use were not “trace” amounts

  • Reminder that FTC has issued new guides for environmental marketing claims: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2012/10/greenguides.pdf

    There are more examples and terms explained, but it still comes down to two basic principles:

    1. Be technically accurate

    2. Do not mislead

  • Finally, FTC has issued it’s updated guidelines for what appropriate environmental marketing claims can be made for products. A very nice summary is here. Guidance.

    In concert with comments I submitted against general environmental claims, FTC says:

    Marketers should not make broad, unqualified general environmental benefit claims like ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly.’ Broad claims are difficult to substantiate, if not impossible.

  • USDA has published its final rule on a voluntary product certification and labeling program for “biopreferred products” – bio-based materials containing products (like NatureWorks corn-based polylactic acid polymers). See rule and guidance here. The program is set for launch Feb 21, 2011.

  • The FTC just announced action against a company that provided bogus “Tested Green” certifications to customers for a fee. Press release here. Sounds like there could be some other laws the company violated too….
    Don’t be taken in looking for a quick “green” claim. There are some legitimate 3rd party certifiers out there, but you really need to know your market and your competition and have facts to back up your claim.

  • Here are my comments to FTC on their latest Green Guides:

    Re: Proposed, Revised Green Guides, 16 CFR Part 260, Project No. P954501

    The latest version of the Green Guides adds useful clarification for the primary standards environmental marketing claims that should adhere to:

    Claims need to be technically accurate and supported by scientific data.
    Claims should not be misleading to the consumer insofar as they imply environmental benefit that is not and/or cannot be substantiated.

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