Regulatory Developments

NGO Claims L.A. Baby Is “Greenwashing,” Files FTC Complaint

June 10, 2021

On May 13, 2021, the Getting Ready for Baby Campaign, a collaboration of over 100 non-governmental organizations (NGO), released a report entitled Peeling Back the Green Façade: Calling out “Greenwashing” in the Crib Mattress Market as Lessons on Brand Manipulation of Health and Environmental Claims. Using the research for the report, Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on May 13, 2021, requesting that FTC investigate and take action to enjoin Amwan, Inc., d/b/a L.A. Baby Co. (L.A. Baby), from making false and misleading claims about L.A. Baby’s business practices. According to Getting Ready for Baby Campaign’s May 13, 2021, press release, the report “discloses the use of greenwashing practices from 10 crib mattress companies, ranging from overstating the meaning of certification to misusing terminology like ‘natural,’ ‘nontoxic,’ and ‘organic.’” The complaint states that L.A. Baby “makes numerous representations, implications, and overstatements that lead consumers to believe that it is producing unqualifiedly non-toxic, safe, and organic baby products.”
 
As reported in our October 3, 2012, memorandum, “FTC Releases Revised Green Guides,” under the revised Green Guides, marketers who claim that their product is non-toxic need competent and reliable scientific evidence that the product is safe for both people and the environment. The Green Guides do not address use of the terms “sustainable,” “natural,” and “organic,” but are intended to ensure that the claims marketers make about the environmental attributes of their products are “truthful and non-deceptive.”


 
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