Don’t Be Fooled By Labels

Just because a company says it is “green” or “animal safe” or “natural” does not mean they really are. You should become familiar with labels and what they mean. Check the labels carefully before you trust something labeled as “natural” or pay a lot more for something said to be “organic”. Not all labels are regulated or even defined. Check this out:


These labels are defined and regulated so they mean what they say:

Green Seal
Animal Care Certified (eggs)**
Dolphin-safe
Free Farmed (dairy products, eggs, poultry, meat)
Organic – Certified
NutriClean
Transitional (farm)
Green-e (re: energy/power)
Totally Chlorine-Free-Certified
Sustainable Forestry-Certified
Energy Star Rated
Wildcrafted or Wildharvested-Certified

These labels are defined but are not regulated. Most companies are honest in their labeling but a lack of regulation means that they really could mean anything:

Biodegradeable
Recyclable
Recycled
Cage Free
GMO Free or GE Free
No Antibiotics Used or Raised Without Antibiotics
Natural (meat and poultry)
CFC Free
Ozone Safe or Ozone Friendly
Recycled
CFC Free (personal-care products)
Low Emissions Vehicles

These labels are currently undefined and therefor not regulated by anyone so they have no meaning:

Green
Natural
No Hormones Administered
Pesticide Free, No Pesticide Residue
rBGH Free or rBST Free (dairy)
Clean (re: energy/power)
Green ((re: energy/power)
Renewable (re: energy/power)
Chemical Free
Chlorine Free
No or Low VOCs
Nontoxic
Phosphate Free
Tree Free
Energy Efficient
Refurbished or Remanufactured
Recyclable
Fluoride Free
Recycled
Wildcrafted or Wildharvested -Uncertified
Fuel Efficient
Composite

These are attributes of items but do not represent a defined label and they are not regulated either:

Reclaimed or recovered
Reusable
Used
Solar Powered
Biodiesel
Electric
Fuel Cell Powered
Hybrid
Reclaimed, Recovered or Salvaged

These labels are currently pending definition and regulation and therefor attempting to meet guidelines:

Free Range, Free Roaming or Pasture Raised (beef, pork)
Grass Fed
No Hormones Administered (beef)
LCD (Appliances, Home Electronics and Lighting)

Alert:
**Beware of “Animal Care Certified.” This label is sponsored by the United Egg Producers, who allow hens to be caged in an area smaller than a sheet of copy paper for their entire lives. This is not what anyone would label “animal care”.

Related Items:

FDA and USDA Nutrition Labeling Guide: Decision Diagrams, Check

Country-Of-Origin Labeling: Opportunities for USDA and Industry to Implement Challenging Aspects of the New Law.: An article from: General Accounting Office Reports & Testimony

Shopping Smart With the New Food Labels: How to Use the New Fda and Usda Food Labeling System to Make the Healthiest Food Choices in the Supermarket

USDA’s proposed “organic” standard (NFPA speech series)

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