If you’ve shopped for organic shampoo, body wash or make-up, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of brands that call themselves “organic,” but don’t carry the “USDA Organic” seal or the certified “Made With Organic Ingredients” claim.

That’s because, while the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) protects organic consumers from fraud by requiring that all organic foods are third-party certified to meet federal organic standards, the USDA NOP is turning a blind-eye to organic fraud when it comes to non-food products.

There are scrupulous organic cosmetics companies that are certified organic, but the vast majority of popular so-called “organic” brands use just a few organic ingredients in products that are largely composed of petrochemicals and synthetics.

The Organic Consumers Association and the Consumers Union filed a complaint earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), asking the consumer protection agency to clean up the organic cosmetics industry and stop the organic-washing.

Now, the FTC wants to hear from you. Until December 10, 2010, the commission is accepting public comments on whether consumers are mislead by personal care products that are made with petrochemical and synthetic ingredients.

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