greenwash | April 27, 2011

Adria Vasil: Marketers Can Label Virtually Any Product "Organic"

Bestselling author Adria Vasil recently appeared on Marketplace to discuss the aggravating lack of regulation over green marketing. Vasil told the consumer watchdog show that labels like “non-toxic,” “bio-friendly,” and—most dubiously—“organic” are not held to any standards in Canada. They are essentially meaningless. “A few marketers around the table can decide that a product is natural and use the labels,” she says. “It’s a wild west out there. Anyone can put the word natural or organic on a product and run with it.”

In the segment, Vasil counts down the ten worse companies in terms of green offenses, focusing on one of her strengths: health and personal body care products. (You’ll probably recognize a few of these products from your own home.) Vasil shows us a natural foam bath that contains carcinogens and “green” diapers that are dyed beige to make them appear more “organic.” Consumers are being duped into paying a premium for these products, thinking they are healthier and less environmentally destructive; in reality, these products are nearly identical to their chemically-laden non-green counterparts.

Separating the truly green products from the fake ones is an onerous task. But Adria Vasil has been doing the grunt work—and spinning it into witty and accessible Ecoholic columns—for years now. With 75% more “green” products flooding the market in the past few years, and no regulatory bodies holding them to account, voices like Vasil’s have become an important, reliable (and even fun!) guide to truly green living. And there’s nothing dubious about that.


Read more about keynote speaker Adria Vasil.

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digital media | April 25, 2011