Most 'green product' claims are misleading

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Nearly all “green” consumer products make at least one false, misleading or unproven environmental claim

by Ian Angus

A few weeks ago in Climate & Capitalism, I reported a Canadian government study that found “misleading label information on 63% of candy items, 59% of breads and baked goods; and 49% of snack foods.”  This, I concluded, was “just another proof that consumer sovereignty is a meaningless phrase.”

There’s more proof today, in an Ottawa Citizen article reporting a massive study of  5,296 products.  Environmental marketing firm TerraChoice “found at least one misleading green claim on 95.6 per cent of the items.”

The situation is even worse for children’s products, with all toys and 99.2 per cent of baby products guilty of some form of “greenwashing” when they make environmental claims.

“We did not find a single ‘green’ toy that was free of greenwashing, and only six of 706 baby products were ‘sin-free,’ ” the report noted. …

The use of fake labels was also found to be on the rise; When TerraChoice returned to the same stores this year, three in 10 items (30.9 per cent) carried a certification-like logo so that consumers would think a third-party approved the product as green, up from 23.3 per cent last year.

Or, as I said in my previous article, even the best labeling system can’t guarantee that consumers know what they are buying. To but it bluntly, the bastards lie.