Bodycare Claims Heat Up as Dr. Bronners Sues Hain, Others. We Need a Drink.

The natural products industry’s version of the WWF Smackdown has gotten a start this spring as a lawsuit by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and a counter suit from French organic certifier EcoCert have landed in San Francisco’s Superior Court.

Bronner’s lawsuit charges that Avalon Organics, Jason Natural Products, Nature’s Gate, Ikove, Aveda, Juice Beauty, Head Organics, Stella McCartney’s Care, Giovanni Cosmetics, Desert Essence and Kiss My are in violation of the USDA National Organic Program rules. EcoCert, along with the new U.S. counterpart, OASIS, have also been named in the suit.

As reported in the Natural Foods Merchandiser , on May 1, Kiss My Face, Nature’s Gate and The Hain-Celestial Group, which owns Avalon and Jason, released a statement noting that “the statements and claims advanced by Mr. David Bronner appear to be more about the lack of action by the government to settle the standards issues than about the products he mentions. We are confident that the allegations about our companies’ products will be proved to be without merit.”

According to the statement, all the manufacturers named are committed to improving personal-care industry standards. “We believe that collaboration and an open dialogue among industry participants, consumers and regulators, not litigation, is the best approach to developing meaningful organic personal-care product standards,” said Bob MacLeod, CEO of Kiss My Face.

Much of the dispute centers around the use of hydrosols, a process that takes plants materials, in this case organic ones, and through steaming creates an hydrosol. Many of the products that are currently called organic contain up to 70% hydrosol or what some claim is basically water.

While we don’t have enough expertise to go into the finer details we’ll do some homework.

In the meantime we need a drink. So we’re going to grab the organic vodka sent to us by the folks at Rain Vodka in our All Things Organic Press box and have a martini. And not worry at least for now what petrochemicals are in our natural shampoo. Though we think we’re glad somebody is. Maybe. Actually we’re not sure. Now where I did put those organic olives.

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