Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Rant

Right before I had surgery I was reading my favorite eco-friendly family magazine when I came across this article that totally irked me. I contacted the magazine after I read it and never heard a response. So I wrote a rant that was published in the Franklin Goose newsletter. I'm still fuming about it, so I wanted to share in case you read the article and thought you'd try some of the recommended products. :)

I recently participated in a magazine poll about favorite natural personal care items. Even though the term natural is used pretty loosely, I was still anxious to see what other moms were using. I was stunned by the companies that were given the all natural “awards.”

Burt’s Bees came in first place for shampoo and conditioner. This really didn’t surprise me since most of my friends use Burt’s and think it’s pretty safe. I was a huge Burt’s Bees fan, until Clorox bought the company in 2007. To me, there is something unsettling to about buying your baby shampoo from a corporation that makes bleach, but that's just me. I looked up the Tear Free Shampoo on the EWG’s and the shampoo scored a 4 on the hazard scale.

0-2 is a low hazard, 3-6 is a moderate hazard, and 7-10 is a high hazard. When it comes to my child, I will only accept anything under a 2. There are many 0’s available, (Earth Mama Angel Baby) so it’s totally unacceptable to me that this eco-friendly magazine awarded a company for a moderate hazard shampoo. Even if the public voted for them, the magazine should steer its readers in the correct direction. In a separate phone study, over 75% of the participants believed they were buying organic products, when they really weren’t. Isn’t it the editors journalistic duty to report that this product isn’t the safest/ most natural available?

The runners up in this category were Kiss My Face, Jason, and Aubrey Organics. Kiss My Face and Jason have been big targets for the Organic Consumers Association for years because they have allegedly lied to consumers by mislabeling their products. Data from a complaint states that most of Jason and Kiss My Face products are made with synthetic petrochemical preservatives, which are in no way organic or natural. (Unless you’re swimming in the Gulf right now.) The EWG has even found cancer causing 1,4 dioxane in both company’s products. Though due to the lawsuit, Jason and Kiss My Face have now changed their terminology- Jason has dropped the organic and Kiss My Face has “stopped making Obsessively Organic.” They both have the same old ingredients. If you use either, be sure to check them out on the EWG because lots are rated at high hazards.

I continued reading the award list and even more OCA frauds were showing up like Nature’s Gate and Avalon Organics. Both are on the OCA's primary target list for this month. No wonder so many people are having a tough time choosing eco-friendly products. It seems like every large corporation is slapping a “natural” label on their products along with a $5 price increase. The only companies that had USDA certified ingredients that were given awards were Earth Mama Angel Baby and Dr. Bronner’s.

The article does talk about the EWG hazard list as well as the NPA member list, yet majority of the companies aren't NPA members and have poor safety ratings. The magazine's guidelines to win an award were pretty unclear. All the winning company had to do was be a NPA member or have ONE product in the winning line with a 3 or better rating. To me, this is as misleading as the word natural and the labels that profess to be safer or more organic than they are. I'm really disappointed because there are parents out there who rely on articles like this because they don't have the time to do the research.



  1. Aww, really? I have been using Kiss My Face shampoo because it is so, SO hard to find natural soaps and shampoos that do not use coconut products (I'm allergic). I didn't know that about them. *sigh* Back to hunting I guess.

  2. Wow...I'm shocked about some of the top winners. I have used Avalon, Kiss My Face, and Jason products on me personally and on my kids. These are products that are readily accessible at my grocery store and the whole foods store in my area. I haven't heard of the other's except Dr. Bronners. I'm surprised that there isn't more safe varieties on the shelves in my area. Disturbing!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Really it's so easy to check the EWG site and spend a few minutes figuring out what you are putting on your largest organ (skin) yet most Americans are so oblivious!

  4. Thanks for your rant! When my eldest son was born in 2006 we used Burt's Bees and have used many of the other products you mentioned as well. After my he started showing excema I found the EWG and now only use things with a rating of 2 or less as well! When our second was born in Nov. I went back to the EWG and now use Earth Mama Angel Baby shampoo- Even though we have to order it online. Our local 'natural' stores don't carry the shampoo. I still use Burt's Bees powder & Diaper cream. We also buy the Sunscreen & Calendula Calming Cream by California Baby- That stuff is wonderful for my kids light excema!

  5. GRRRR. I am so glad you are back to point us all in the right direction. Thank you.

  6. I know! It is so frustrating! I just posted the links I accidentally left out. You will be able to find product ratings and lists of safe companies. Plus the lawsuit PDF file! It's a very interesting read.