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If it says "all natural" or "100% natural" on the ingredient label, can the product have any synthetic ingredients?

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Aug 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

Question: If it says "all natural" or "100% natural" on the ingredient label, can the product have any synthetic ingredients?

Answer: According to the FTC, absolutely not!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently approved settlements in several cases where companies advertised that their products were "all natural" or "100% natural" when in fact the products contained synthetic ingredients. (One of the companies is based in Colorado.) According to the FTC, the companies "made deceptive all-natural claims in online ads for a variety of products, ranging from sunscreen to shampoo." The settlements bar the companies from making similar misrepresentations in the future and require that the companies have competent and reliable evidence to substantiate any ingredient related, environmental or health claims made to the public.

What is interesting about this case is that in some cases the synthetic ingredients were listed on the ingredient label. However, that did not overcome the presentation and advertising of the products as being "all natural" or "100% natural." Although it is wise for consumers to read the ingredient label, consumer protection law does not require that consumers do so. Furthermore, the law recognizes that the small print cannot be relied upon to correct prominently made false or misleading advertising.

If you have any questions about the health or environmental claims made about your company's products, please contact Harmony Law.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Prior to opening Harmony Law, Mr. Hutchins worked in the Wyoming Attorney General's Office for several years where he developed a strong consumer protection enforcement unit. In that position he led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions under the Consumer Protection Act. He worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado, on consumer protection matters. Mr. Hutchins is also a contributing author to Consumer Protection Law Developments, Second Edition. Previous to his work in the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Hutchins was in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska where he was the chief litigator for a firm. Mr. Hutchins represented municipalities on various matters. Mr. Hutchins provided counsel to businesses and investment advisors regarding compliance with securities laws. He was also a bond lawyer and worked on municipal financing matters. Prior to that, Mr. Hutchins practiced civil litigation with a law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mr. Hutchins devotes his spare time to his family, traveling and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Harmony Law is one of the few law firms in Colorado and Wyoming that focuses on consumer law. Mr. Hutchins is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and state chair for Wyoming. If you have a consumer law issue, please feel free to call 970-488-1857 and speak with Mr. Hutchins.

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