"Agency Seeks to Tighten Rules for 'Green' Labeling"

"Manufacturers of products that claim to be environmentally friendly will face tighter rules on how they are advertised to consumers under changes proposed Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission.

The commission's revised 'Green Guides,' last updated in 1998, warn marketers against using labels that make broad claims that cannot be substantiated, like 'eco-friendly.' Marketers must qualify their claims on the product packaging and limit them to a specific benefit, such as how much of the product is recycled. ...

One of the most notable updates to the guides concerns the use of environmental seals and certifications seen on many packages. According to the Ecolabel Index, there are currently 349 seals and certifications for marketing green products worldwide, with 88 used in North America alone. While the commission does not require the use of a specific label, it considers them endorsements that should be substantiated."

Tanzina Vega reports for the New York Times October 6, 2010.

Source: NYTimes, 10/07/2010