Congress Debates the Meaning of Green -- And Greenwashing

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce met today to discuss green marketing's pitfalls.

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The terms "green," "natural" and "eco-friendly" sure don't mean what they used to. Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing entitled “It’s Too Easy Being Green: Defining Fair Green Marketing Practices" in hopes of cracking down on advertisers and certification programs that mislead consumers.

Said Rep. Bobby Rush, chairman:

“Because there are no common agreements or generally accepted definitions relating to the meaning of many of these words, and since consumers are being bombarded by so many of these claims and certifications, there is legitimate concern that some consumers are basing their purchasing decisions on misleading and, in some cases, even deceptive labels.

I am especially concerned that Americans with less disposable income to spend on “green” goods are not getting the benefits they expect when they spend their hard earned money on these goods, which promise more and, often, cost more at the check-out line."

Rush called for more insight into the Federal Trade Commission's update of its Green Guides, and more aggressive monitoring of green claims.

More on greenwashing:

The Blog That Cried Greenwashing

Deceptive Greenwashing Aims to Trick Eco-Tourists

What's Your Definition of Local Food?


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