Friday, April 2, 2010

Organic Cheater Brands Caught by OCA

Fr. Natural News
The Organic Consumers Association has long fought against what it calls "organic cheater brands" -- personal care products that use the name "organic" in the product name or brand, yet are not truly organic products at all. This year at the Expo West Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California, the OCA staged a very visible public protest to expose what it calls "sham poo products" that are "organic cheaters."

The protest was part of the OCA's Coming Clean Campaign which continues to expose dishonest or misleading products in the skin care industry. Due in large part to the OCA's efforts, Whole Foods now says it will enforce honest labeling by taking a closer look at the word "organic" on personal care products (

I was present at the protest, where I spoke with some of the participants and captured some video footage of the action. You can watch the full video right now on YouTube:

What really happened at the protest
The protest was largely peaceful, and even though police did search the protestors -- a violation of their 4th Amendment rights -- they did not make any arrests. New Hope Media, the company that organizes the Expo West trade show each year, dispatched staffers to act as human shields to visually block the protest signs by standing in front of them. I attempted to get some of the New Hope Media personnel to explain why they were standing in front of the signs, asking them if they were attempting to block the signs, and they told me that they actually had no intention of blocking anything, that they were just "standing here" for no particular reason. (Yeah, right...)

They couldn't say, of course, that the "organic cheater" brands whose signs they were blocking also happened to be some of the largest paying exhibitors at the show, and these show organizers were no doubt attempting to shield these companies from being publicly shamed. That act alone raises the all-important question: Why is New Hope Media protecting organic cheater brands?

There's something you need to know about the Expo West trade show: That show has an on-duty FDA officer who runs around the show threatening companies that make truthful health claims on their product labels. New Hope Media is apparently quite content with an FDA tyrant running around the show threatening people for telling the truth, but when the Organic Consumers Association tries to expose the truth about organic cheater brands, New Hope Media places itself in the position of defending the cheaters!

Why is it illegal to tell the truth at Expo West, but it's perfectly fine for some companies to lie to consumers through misleading product names... and New Hope Media will actually go to bat for those cheaters by sending people onto the street to disrupt a public protest that exposes the lies!

I find this all quite fascinating. Expo West is a terrific trade show with lots of really great companies sharing their health products, but it does seem that New Hope Media is eroding its own credibility by going to bat for organic cheater brands. Instead of defending organic cheater brands, the company might do itself a favor by requiring them to have honest labels before they can exhibit at the show!

Watch the video yourself to see the signs being blocked by New Hope Media employees (the guys in the suits):

How the products really scored
The OCA has published an online spreadsheet detailing the test results of many personal care products to show their "Skin Deep Hazard Rating" -- a score that indicates the presence of potentially hazardous or toxic chemicals in product formulations. A score of 7 or higher is considered bad enough to earn that product a "don't buy this" rating. A score of 2 or lower is considered very good.

The OCA maintains a boycott against the following brands, which it characterizes as "fake organic brands":

• Avalon "Organics"
• Desert Essence "Organics"
• Earth's Best "Organic"
• Eminence "Organic" (Except Few w/USDA Seal)
• Giovanni "Organic"
• Goodstuff "Organics"
• Head "Organics"
• Jason "Pure, Natural & Organic"
• Kiss My Face "Obsessively Organic"
• Nature's Gate "Organics"
• Physicians Formula "Organic" Wear
• Stella McCartney "100% Organic"

NaturalNews urges readers to join in this boycott and avoid buying these brands until they reformulate to be truly organic (USDA organic). Note carefully that even the Kiss My Face "Obsessively Organic" products are not considered truly organic by the OCA. Don't trust product names alone, as brand names and product names may be misleading.

Good organic brands to buy
Here are some of the honest organic brands you may wish to support through the purchasing of their products:

• Alteya Organics
• Baby Bear Shop
• Badger
• Brittanie's Thyme
• Bubble and Bee Organic
• Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
• Earth Mama Angel Baby
• Indian Meadow Herbals
• Intelligent Nutrients
• Kimberly Parry Organics
• Little Angel
• Mercola
• Miessence Certified Organics
• Nature's Paradise
• OGmama and OGbaby
• Organicare
• Organic Essence
• Origins Organics
• Purely Shea
• Rose Tattoo Aftercare
• SoCal Cleanse
• Sensibility Soaps / Nourish
• Terressentials
• Trillium Organics
• Vermont Soap

Stay informed at the OCA's Coming Clean Campaign web page:

And share the protest video with others, as they will be interested to know which "organic cheater" brands are being exposed by the OCA. Watch it here:

Tick the title to be redirected to the article and a spreadsheet that shows their scores.

Think for yourself


  1. Very informative...thank you. I've heard about these 'fake organics', but I don't know much about them.

    Where there is a market the buyer must always beware.

  2. That is good advice! 'Beware!'
    I don't know which is better, to try to be totally 'organic' or to just use the best ingredients we can? I hope the people responsible can just list a more proportionate ingredient listing 'SOON'. It is really expensive to use organics, unless you have an 'in'. We can all just try to do our bests and hope for better outcomes in the near future! I like Natural News articles and posted this one as a reminder that we do need to be aware and that sometimes these high prices under 'better for you' labels aren't all they are cracked up to be. My main issue is that we come up with alternatives when unduly practices occur. Let better be the alternative we seek.
    Learning to work at 'better',


Banana This; Recycle Old Peels~ fertilizer or silver polish

There are things you can do with that old peel.

1. Do you have a green thumb? House hold plants and outside gardens require fertilization. A great way to give your plants nutrients is with a banana peel. The banana peel is very rich in potassium and phosphorus, which give that added boost to your plants soil, especially so with roses. Here is how to use a banana peel to fertilizer your soil for your plants. Remove the peel from the banana. Place the banana peel on a cookie sheet to let it air dry. Grab a paper bag or envelope. Crumble the dried banana peel and place it in the bag. Let the banana sit at room temperature for about two days. When your caring for your plant, give it a potassium treat of crumbled banana peel. Mix well in the soil to ensure the roots are fed evenly.
2. Have you been thinking about pulling out that old silver? Well there is no time like the present. Bananas peel can also be used to polish silver. Yes, polish silver. Take the old peels and place them in a blender. You want the peels to become smooth and creamy. Once they have, grab a cloth and small amounts of the creamed banana peel and begin polishing your silver. The shine will be breath taking.


Wild yeasts exist in the air around you and to some extent on the wheat berries. There are wild yeasts on grapes (unsulphured) and apples and other fruits. It is those wild yeasts which are 'captured' to make a sourdough starter. The process takes from 3 to 5 days. I wish I had specific amounts for you, but you could start with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour and mix in enough warm (not hot) water to make a thin paste. DO NOT make it too soupy. That, in fact, is the trick to a good starter, according to the French bread makers, and I think they should know. And after you've fooled around with the flour and water thing, you might wish to branch out into adding those unsulphured grapes, apples, sour milk, etc as a catalyst in order to capture other strains of yeast. Each of these strains has a slightly different taste. In fact if you move to another area, you might end up with a starter that produces an entirely different flavor. For instance, San Francisco sourdough bread is well known and has a distinct taste due to the wild strains in the air there. On day one you mix the flour and water (and add any catalysts to encourage fermentation) and place in a warm spot. After 3 days, the dough should be moist, inflated, and slightly sour. More flour and water is added (mixed in) and left to sit in a warm spot. After 2 days the process is repeated. Then the next day it is done again. Note the order: 3 days, 2 days, 1 day. At this point you should be able to make a loaf of bread using part of the starter and adding back what you took out in the form of more flour and water. Rule of thumb: Use about 10% starter to size of loaf. In the case of a 2 lb loaf this is a bit over 3 oz of starter (3.2 to be exact). For a 1 lb loaf 1.5 oz would be used. A book that describes this process in great detail is The Village Baker by Joe Ortiz, copyright 1993, published by Ten Speed Press, Berkley CA. If it's not still in print, try the used books stores, that's where I got mine. Or try your local library. If they don't have it, they might be able to get it for you. ©2008 by Ernestina Parziale

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