What Does Organic Mean?
What Consumers Should be Aware of when Purchasing Organic & Green Products

Organic Products
If you are looking for a product that is truly Organic, you need only look for one thing:

- A reputable independent auditing organization will do all the work for you, including verify organic content.

You have only one job
- Verify manufacturer award status A product made by a company that has undergone and passed third-party audit is the ONLY
  assurance of organic authenticity.

"Green" Products
"Green" companies that have not undergone and passed audit themselves sell products that are "Made With" organic ingredients. If you are considering purchasing an uncertified product, how do you verifying claims?
Is the promised material actually being used? Don’t rely on the honesty of the manufacture and retailer; do your homework.

Things to be aware of when purchasing a "Made With" product:

- The term Organic cannot be used for non-certified products
- Any modification of the USDA seal is prohibited and must always be suspect
- Look for GOTS certification for Textile Products and/or Components
- Look for GOLS certification for Latex Products and/or Components
- USDA, a food certification, can be used to certify raw cotton, flax and wool, or other non-edible farm products such as rubber tree sap
- An out of date Certification, Logo, Seal or Test, typically valid for one year, means the company has not been evaluated recently,
  key factors could have been changed
- Natural, Green and Earth or Eco Friendly are meaningless advertising words
- There is no scientific or regulatory basis for use of these terms, they have no accepted definition, no standard and are not provable
- Make them give you details as to how their products benefit the planet or humans or what ever else they may claim
- Dig until you are satisfied, never take words like green or natural at face value
- Component Certificates
- Current Dates
- Call the component manufacturer and check that this material is purchased regularly by the maker of your product
- How many components in the product are certified organic
- Do these components make up the bulk of the product
- Are you comfortable with the percent
- If claims seem exaggerated they probably are
- Are some components “natural” or other similar terminology
- Ask them what these words mean
- Ask them to prove it
- Chemical Content
- Free Of or 100% are almost always false
- Do they claim no or low VOC’s
- Do they claim no Toxins
- Do they claim no Formaldehyde
- Do they have Test Result
- If provided with an official looking document don’t be impressed, Verify
- Is data understandable
- Does test result apply to the product in question
- Make them prove it
- Are test dates recent
- What Lab
- Are they Reputable
- Investigate the Lab
- Chemical testing is not Organic Verification
- Claiming “No Chemicals” is always False
- Logo’s and Seals
- If several Logos are posted its likely few are meaningful
- Validity must be confirmable
- Criteria should be rigorous and worthy
- On site visits should be part of the criteria
- Some Logos are memberships that anyone can purchase
- Are Logos self made
- Self made Logos must be clearly explained
- Must not infer independent criteria and audit when none exists
- Must not infer Environmental or Health benefit where none exists
- A Logo and Seal does not necessarily mean green or organic
- Awarder and recipient must be truly independent
- Is the award meaningful to you