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. Mr. Hutchins started his career as a lawyer in Cheyenne, Wyoming. First gaining experience as a law clerk for the district court judges, Mr. Hutchins entered private practice with a Cheyenne firm focused on civil litigation, business law and some general practice law. Later, Mr. Hutchins went to Alaska, where he was the chief litigator for a firm that engaged in bond law, corporate law, securities law, and the broad reach of municipal law. Mr. Hutchins returned to Cheyenne to represent the State of Wyoming in the national tobacco arbitration. While in that position, he developed the consumer protection unit for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office. He led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions in Wyoming and worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado. Mr. Hutchins relocated to Colorado in 2016 and founded Harmony Law. Mr. Hutchins has established Harmony Law in three principal areas of law. First, it is a general practice firm in the areas of business law, estate planning and family law. Secondly, it is a civil litigation firm, practicing law in state and federal courts throughout Wyoming and Colorado. Finally, it is one of the few firms in Wyoming or Colorado that focuses on consumer protection law.


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