Friday, December 31, 2010

Green Appellations

Based on the article GREEN MONSTER published in the Earth Island Journal, Winter 2011, page,11-12.

For my last blog post of the year, I want to discuss the green appellations such as biodegradable, recyclable and eco-friendly as wells as their regulations.

Just like the food industry is subject to the FDA for using the term organic on food products, the green industry is subject to  the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via its environmental-marketing guidelines also  known as "Green Guides". Unfortunately, the guidelines were last updated in 1998 and therefore the existing definitions are outdated and they do not include appellations such as sustainable, renewable and zero carbon.

The FTC started the process of reviewing the guidelines. The business associations are criticizing the severity of the new guidelines and the environmental groups think that FTC is not going far enough. When it comes to appellations, the regulations are extremely important because it gives customer the trust needed for them to buy the certified product. The FTC plans to regulate the general environmental claims and to establish grounds for false advertising. Businesses will have to be careful with the new rules because noncompliance could also be used as the basis of consumer class action suits and even claims by competitors.

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