Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

The federal watchdog that's supposed to crack down on product labels that make false environmental claims has taken almost no enforcement action over the last decade, even as "green" marketing claims have exploded, agency records show.

Companies touting eco-friendly products or biodegradable packaging are supposed to abide by guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission in 1992. The FTC can take companies that ignore the so-called "Green Guides" to court and seek fines to reimburse consumers.

Since May 2000, the FTC has taken legal action against only three companies for violating the guidelines. All three complaints were announced June 9, the day of a congressional hearing about environmental marketing.

"There has been little to no enforcement of the 1992 guides," says environmental consultant Kevin Tuerff, whose company started a website aimed at exposing ads with questionable environmental claims. "They need to pick up the pace."


The Federal government is accused of over regulating a lot of things and rightfully so. The FCC is a perfect example of a Federal agency that gets its rocks off by coming down hard on the smallest offenses. As crazy as it may sound, the Feds also under regulate in certain areas. The FTC really needs to start laying down the law on the companies that are capitalizing on the "green" lifestyle. When I shop at Trader Joes's and Whole Foods, I am amazed at the butt naked lies written on some of the product labels. I know that all companies want to show their products in a favorable light, but blatant marketing fabrications should be against the law.

Most companies don't give a damn about the environment. They make organic and green products because those products can make them money. There are a few companies out there that seem to genuinely care about the status of Mother Earth. Unfortunately, those companies are usually bought out by a monstrous organization within the capitalist machine. Consequently, the cost of green products is significantly higher than the non-green stuff. Kermit the Frog said it best in his song "It's Not Easy Being Green." I know the song has a deeper meaning. Just roll with it...

It's not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that


3rd Wave Inc said...

Organic products are essentially earth-friendly, sustainable and natural, not only in its entity but in production mode. Which makes safer and healthier.