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The greenwashing of pet products: What’s real and what’s not

Confused by all the “green” claims of pet products on store shelves out there? Wondering about the sincerity of ubiquitous “all natural” claim, so-called “organic” pet food, “sustainable” kitty litter, the post-consumer, recycled pet food packaging, and the certified this and fair trade that when it comes to pet food and other pet products?

Well, you should be.

A study found that nearly all the products they looked at had some iffy green, sustainable, fair trade, unbleached, quasi-organic claims on them. In other words, misleading claims.

The claim most consumers are annoyed with?

The ubiquitous and thoroughly meaningless marketing claim “all natural”.

And the trouble is no one is minding the store. When laws exist, there is very little, if any, real enforcement of them occurs. Many such marketing terms are vague and undefined, leading consumers down a garden path, unaware that there may not be a single law protecting them, that the green claims be validated or even truthful.

Consumers swim past isles of a sea of green logos, packaging, coloring. Official looking seals of approval, where claims are verified by nothing more than marketing organizations that exist solely to part consumers from their cash — greedy-greenwashers looking to cash in on the green market.

According to a study due out Tuesday, more than 95% of consumer products examined committed at least one offense of “greenwashing,” a term used to describe unproven environmental claims, according TerraChoice, a North American environmental-marketing company that issued the report.

See the article written in today’s issue of the Wall Street Journal

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Mollie Morrissette

Mollie Morrissette, the author of Poisoned Pets, is an animal food safety expert and consumer advisor. Help support her work by making a donation today.


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