What the Environmental Working Group’s New Verification Mark Means for You

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The Environmental Working Group is trying to change the marketplace.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has become one of the places that organic beauty and product lovers visit on the regular. And while the EWG’s website and educational tools have always been simple to navigate, the organization is taking its “seal of approval” to the next level.

At the end of October, the EWG launched its new verification mark, EWG VERIFIED. The verification mark will reside on items (specifically, personal care and cosmetic products) that adhere to the organization’s newly outlined standards.

While the label is only appearing on beauty products right now, it will eventually be placed on household cleaning products, foods, and more. According to the EWG, the products that will feature the mark must score in EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database’s “green” range. (The “green” range means that there is a robust to good amount of data available on the safety of a product.) And although the EWG’s Skin Deep tool isn’t going anywhere, the new mark means that companies will have to meet additional guidelines created by the organization’s scientists. The mark will appear on products sold online and in stores.

EWG created the label to serve consumers, but the organization also created the EWG VERIFIED mark to change the marketplace — it wants companies to become more transparent and begin to make more products that are free of potentially harmful or toxic substances. The EWG defines potentially harmful substances as ingredients that “have been banned or restricted by U.S. or international government agencies or other authoritative public healthy bodies, such as the World Health Organization.” A company won’t be able to have the EWG VERIFIED mark unless it has fully disclosed its products’ ingredients on its website. The company also must follow “good manufacturing practices.”

Do you think that the EWG‘s mark will influence companies to embrace more transparent business practices? I’m a little skeptical, but I have my fingers crossed… After all, every little bit of change helps.

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