Posts tagged #Federal Trade Commission

Gray Areas for Green Labels: The Current State of Environmental Marketing

“Natural,” “green,” “sustainable,” “biodegradable,” – it seems like everywhere you look, from the big box stores to your local farmer’s market, products are being marketed for their environmental and healthful benefits. For a range of reasons, consumer demand for ecologically conscious or healthy products is exploding and the market is responding. The increasing demand for these goods has not gone unnoticed by federal regulators. The Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) has been closely monitoring the booming use of these terms in marketing and advertising materials. At the top of the marketing food chain is the term “organic,” which is tightly regulated and requires pre-certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, the majority of terms are not so stringently regulated. In fact, most terms fall within a gray area requiring no certification or verification prior to use. Such terms may appear beneficial to businesses given their low upfront investment and strong consumer demand, but use of such terms is increasingly exposing businesses to a landscape fraught with legal risk.