"FTC Moves May Signal Start of 'Greenwashing' Crackdown"

"The Federal Trade Commission is expected to crack down on "greenwashing" when it updates its environmental marketing guidelines for the first time since 1998.

The agency's Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, or Green Guides, define terms such as 'recyclable' and 'biodegradable' and explain how businesses should back up environmental assertions. Though FTC cannot force businesses to adopt greener practices, Section 5 of the FTC Act authorizes the agency to intervene when businesses are misrepresenting their practices to clients -- in other words, turning greenwashing into fraud.

FTC did not use those guidelines to file any complaints regarding environmental claims during the administration of President George W. Bush, but it has filed seven since Obama took office."

Gabriel Nelson reports for Greenwire February 3, 2010.

See Also:

"FTC Warns Wal-Mart, Target, Others On Bamboo Labeling" (Reuters)

Source: Greenwire, 02/04/2010