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FTC Calls for Comments on its Revised "Green" Product Claims Guidance

Posted: October 15, 2010

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Finally, the proposed guides advise marketers to not make unqualified renewable energy claims if the power used to manufacture any part of the product was derived from fossil fuels. In addition, new advice about carbon offset claims is provided; if the emission reductions by a consumer’s purchase will not be realized within two years, or if the activity that produces the offset is already required by law, it is recommended the marketer avoid advertising such offsets.

The proposed guides do not address use of the terms sustainable, natural and organic. Organic claims made for textiles and other products derived from agricultural products are currently covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.

As noted, the FTC is seeking comments on all aspects of its proposal until Dec. 10, 2010, after which it will decide which changes to make final. Parties interested can submit comments in paper form by following the instructions in the “Request for Comment” section of the Federal Register notice. Comments can also be submitted electronically at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/revisedgreenguides.