Monday, September 21, 2009

USDA Organic and Body Products

We know enough to buy organic food. But what about Body Products? Here's the deal: if you wouldn't eat it, you probably don't want to put it on your skin. And if it doesn't have the USDA certification seal, it probably isn't really organic.

There is much abuse going on in the cosmetic and body care industry, using the word "organic" when it's nowhere near organic and should maybe have a warning label. Because of the lack of regulation in this area, a product can say "organic" and not have anything organic in it. As the folks at Terressentials say, without the seal, it's just a word on a bottle.

Your body absorbs as much or more through your skin than it does through your gut. When you rub carcinogens or neurotoxins on your skin, it's in your bloodstream within minutes. Physically these chemicals are affecting us immediately, individually and severely with dire illnesses. Collectively, these chemicals are killing us off as a species. Think I'm exaggerating? Watch the CBC documentary THE DISAPPEARING MALE to see just how serious this problem is. It's quite urgent that we get together and educate ourselves and each other and make some changes.

I've been buying what I thought were organic shampoos, soaps and lotions only to find out they were no where close to organic. Or there might be one organic ingrediant, but on closer inspection, also had carcinogens, like parabens (KISS MY FACE, AVALON ORGANICS to name a couple). It's so maddening! When I realized that my Kiss My Face shower gel had parabens I really felt betrayed. How could they? And how could stores like Whole Foods or the Co-op sell body care with carcinogens?? The farther into the rabbit hole I go, the more shocked and outraged I am.

Companies are using the word "organic" to make a fortune off consumers who think they are getting organic, when they're not. In my book, that is fraud. Legislation is under way as I speak to do something about this, but for the time being, consumers have to be extra vigilant about which products they buy. The OCC is a great place to start with their Coming Clean Campaign. I believe consumer awareness is the way to bring about change fast, look what happened with BPA.

There is a wealth of information on the OCC site, and Terressentials has a great, readable list of ingredients to be aware of. Just remember the next time you are shopping, if you want organic body care, make sure it has the USDA seal on it before you buy.

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