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.