Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Warning About All Natural Labeling!

There are plenty of companies out there hoisting the “all natural” banner, but we urge you to pay close attention and to read the labels.

For example, fragrance oils are not natural, while essential oils are.  Also, an ingredient ending in “ben” (with the exception of Gentle Ben, though who would put that sweet bear in a body product is beyond us) is in all likelihood a paraben (ethylparaben, methylparaben etc.). The thing is, PARABENS ARE NOT NATURAL!  They have been shown to have hormone-disrupting effects (we think pregnancy does that effectively enough, thanks) as well as a few other nasty side effects that we don’t want you to have to worry about.

We know of one very prominent pregnancy product company that has the phrase “All Natural Ingredients” boldly written right on the front of their belly butter while the ingredient label lists no less than 3 chemicals including two different parabens and phenoxyethanol.  The latter is listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) under toxicology with the following copy:

“Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. May cause reproductive defects. Severe eye and skin irritant.”  No, we aren’t kidding. You can read the data yourself right here:http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/PH/2-phenoxyethanol.html. And mind you, this is in a Belly Butter!

At first we scratched our heads over the “All Natural Ingredients” label and more than one person in our office got pretty pissed off over it.  So here’s what we think:  they don’t mean that ALL the ingredients are natural, but that SOME ingredients are “all natural”, as in “This product contains some all natural ingredients.”  Fabulous.  So does Mop N’ Glo, which might make your belly look really nice, but we don’t recommend rubbing it on.  Apparently there’s a fine line between lying and just misleading. Bet no one ever explained that to you in ethics class, did they?

Seriously though, we find this sort of misleading labeling disgusting.  Sadly it happens way more than you might think (we were shocked and angered ourselves).  In this case it’s particularly putrid as this company is urging you to rub something that is “harmful if absorbed through the skin” and “may cause reproductive defects” all over your pregnant belly.  Yuck.

Look – we aren’t saying that parabens or chemicals are inherently evil.  And really, we all ought to use whatever bath and body products we feel good about using.  But we all need to make informed choices. Misleading people that are trying to make smart and healthy decisions is disgusting.  Factor in the fact that the people they are misleading are pregnant women with growing bellies and it just gets worse.

So we URGE you to read labels.  Educate yourself about ingredients so that you can make smart choices that you can feel good about, both for yourself and your baby.

And remember this: every MAMA BOMB product is ALL NATURAL, and we mean EVERY INGREDIENT.  We also don’t use water or other fillers  - every ingredient has a purpose, so you aren’t paying for something who’s primary ingredient you can get from your tap.  Read our labels.  Look up the ingredients.  We promise that WE won’t ever lie to you, ever.

This is published on Mamabomb.com.

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