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Product labels are confusing – how can I be sure they are chemical free?

This can be very difficult.  In the EU labelling is regulated by the EU cosmetic regulations (which the UK will continue to abide by after Brexit).  The law states that the ingredients must be listed in their INCI format which is similar to Latin and very few people understand. Sometimes the INCI names are followed by common names, but there is not always room for this on the packaging. Sometimes manufacturers will provide the common names on their websites if there is no room on the packaging.

Unfortunately, manufacturers are allowed to label the product with the words ‘natural’ and/or ‘organic’ when the product may contain only a miniscule amount of natural or organic ingredients and be laden with synthetic chemicals.

The only way to be absolutely sure if you are not an ingredient guru is to look for a CERTIFIED organic product.  The organic certification rules are very strict and harmful synthetic chemicals are not allowed in certified organic products.

Currently the Soil Association is fighting hard to try to get the law changed so that manufacturers will not be able to mislead the consumer by labelling something as ‘natural’ that may just have 1% natural ingredients.  We are backing them all the way!

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