PRLog - Nov. 5, 2012 - After a multi-year review since the last FTC guidance document in 1998, the updated Green Guides issued on 1 October 2012, are guidance, not agency rules or regulations. Although the Green Guides do not have the force of law, making environmental claims that are inconsistent with the Guides may result in an FTC investigation. Since the Green Guides represent an administrative interpretation, not a rule, they take effect immediately. The Green Guides address claims about the environmental attributes of a product, package, or service, regardless of whether it is being marketed to individuals or in a notable clarification, in a business-to-
Green_ Guides_ for_ Environmental_ Claims
They consist of general principles, specific guidance on the use of particular environmental claims using numerous examples. FTC stresses that “n the context of environmental marketing claims, a reasonable basis often requires competent and reliable scientific evidence.” The Commission asserts that the Guides will help companies through this process by explaining how reasonable consumers are likely to interpret claims, describing the basic elements considered necessary to substantiate claims, and presenting options for qualifying a claim in order to avoid perceptions of deception.
“Green Claims” Recommendations
The Guides (http://www.ftc.gov/
The Guides contain several sections addressing “new” types of environmental claims; “carbon offsets” claims, “free-of” certain materials claims, “non-toxic”
The FTC also addresses the environmental certifications and seals of approval that may be attached to a product. According to FTC such certifications or seals of approval may be viewed as product endorsement which will trigger compliance with the FTC Endorsement Guide (http://#_ftn1). A product marketer in such case has to not only meet the burden of proper scientific substantiation for the claims, but also disclose “material connections”
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