The 10 Most Misleading Cosmetic Claims

I was reading some of my latest Twitter updates when I saw another claim about a beauty product being “chemical free.” Reading claims like this really bug me because nearly EVERYTHING is a chemical.

There is no such thing as a Chemical Free Sunscreen!!! Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are CHEMICALS!!

Alright, enough of that. I’ll calm down. But it does remind me of all the other misleading cosmetic claims that I see from cosmetic marketers. Here is a list of 10 of the most misleading cosmetic claims that I could find.

What makes a claim misleading?

Before I get to the list, I want to define my terms. There are plenty of more egregious claims than the ones on this list but typically those are direct lies. (e.g. cosmetics that say they will regrow your hair).

The claims listed here are not lies per se, the companies no doubt have supporting tests. However, they are specifically made to mislead consumers.

1. Natural, organic, green, etc.

This claim can mean anything because there is no specific definition for ‘natural’. Some companies argue that if an ingredient comes from a natural source then it’s natural. They conveniently overlook the fact that they chemically modify it to make it work the way they want it. And ‘organic’ is not much better. True, there is a USDA organic certification program but it is not required that a cosmetic company follow it to use the ‘organic’ claim on their products.

Why it is misleading – Companies who use this claim want consumers to believe that the products they produce are “safer” than other cosmetics. Natural / organic / green cosmetic are not safer.

2. Chemical free.

Every cosmetic or personal care product you would buy is made of chemicals. There is no such thing as a ‘chemical free’ cosmetic. Water is a chemical. Titanium Dioxide is a chemical.

Why it is misleading – It’s just wrong. It also is made to imply that the product is “safer” than cosmetics made with chemicals. The products are not safer. This is just wrong.

3. pH balanced

Skin and hair products often advertise themselves as ‘pH balanced’ as if that is supposed to be some big benefit. What products are sold that are not pH balanced?

Why it is misleading – Companies who make this claim try to imply some superiority over products that are not making this claim. They want consumers to believe that the products will be less irritating and will work better. They won’t. Why? Because any decently formulated product will be made in a pH range that is compatible with skin and hair. A consumer will never notice a single difference between a product that is “pH balanced” and one that is just normally formulated.

4. Hypoallergenic

Companies make this claim because they want consumers to believe that their products will not cause allergies. But the FDA looked at this issue in the 1970′s and essnetially concluded that the term hypoallergenic has no real meaning so anyone can make this claim.

Why it is misleading – Hypoallergenic products are not safer or more gentle even though this is what the claim is meant to imply.

5. “Helps” claim

While it would be illegal to make a claim that a cosmetic product fixes some particular problem directly, it is perfectly fine for companies to claim that the product “helps” fix a problem. Since the word ‘help’ is sufficiently vague any product could support a claim that it is helping some condition whether it is or not.

Why it is misleading – Companies use the qualifier “helps” to be able to make a claim that they want even though they can’t support it. For example, when a skin product says “…moisturizes to help strengthen the skin’s barriers function…” they really want consumers to think that the skin’s barrier function will be strengthened. However, they don’t have any evidence that the product will do this. Adding the word ‘Helps’ lets them make the claim without having to have the evidence.

6. Patented formula

Companies love to claim ‘patented’ or ‘unique’ or ‘exclusive’ formula. What they want consumers to believe is that the formula is someone special and will work better than competitors.

Why this is misleading – It’s relatively easy to find some way to patent a formula but that doesn’t mean the patent will somehow make the product a superior personal care product. Often cosmetic patents are just technicalities that made it past a naive patent examiner. Typically, the patent has nothing to do with how well the formula performs.

7. Makes hair stronger

This is a pet peeve of mine. Products that claim to make hair stronger do not make hair stronger. What they really do is make hair less prone to breakage when it is being combed. This isn’t hair strength, it’s conditioning.

Why this is misleading – If you test the strength of hair with a tensile test or other force measuring device, you will discover that hair is not actually stronger. But consumers are meant to believe that hair becomes stronger even though it doesn’t.

8. Boosts collagen production

You find this claim in lots of cosmetic products.

Why it is misleading – If the product actually increased the amount of collagen your skin produced, it would be a mislabeled drug. Cosmetics are not allowed to have a significant impact on your skin metabolism.

9. Reduces the appearance of wrinkles

Most any anti-aging product is going to make this claim and it’s very likely true. However, the message that consumers get from this claim is different than the words that are written and marketers know this.

Why it is misleading – While the product is only reducing the “appearance” of wrinkles consumers read that and believe that the product will somehow get rid of wrinkles. It won’t. Almost no cosmetic skin cream is going to get rid of wrinkles. They might make wrinkles look less obvious but this isn’t what consumers think when they read a claim like that.

10. Proven formula

The term proven is powerful in the consumers mind even though it doesn’t have to mean much of anything.

Why it is misleading – Marketers know that the term ‘proven’ automatically makes consumers think that the product works. And maybe it does work, but it almost never works in the way (or to the extent) that consumers will think it works. This is why it is a misleading claim.

Claims and the cosmetic chemist

Unfortunately, cosmetic companies have to make misleading claims because this is what consumers respond to. There are certainly some claims that are more egregious than others but as a cosmetic chemist you should be able to recognize those and help your marketing department find ways to make non-misleading claims. It’s not easy but someone should be doing it.

 

  • http://colinsbeautypages.co.uk/ Colin

    A nice post, thanks Perry.  I think that misleading claims are so prevalent that as you say no company can survive if it simply tells the unvarnished truth, particularly in anti-aging lines.  It’s a great shame because even the ones that do help somewhat are still going to fall short of what the customer is led to expect.  

    • Perry Romanowski

      So true.  On some level it seems that consumers don’t really want truth in marketing.  

      • Ged

        Oh, I don’t know though … I’ve seen somewhere a Handmade soap site that advertises its product something like “Our handmade soap: It gets you clean. It smells nice. It’s pretty. It doesn’t dry out your skin (too much).”

        Very refreshing … and they seem to sell a decent amount of soap!

        Maybe the times they are a-changin’ …

  • Kmbee63

    Great article, Perry Romanowski! Of course cosmetics companies sell products based upon a tangled web of marketing claims …. It’s all about marketing, isn’t it? So…. How does the consumer make the right choice? How do we know we’re not throwing money away on a product that doesn’t really work?

    • Perry Romanowski

      Well, the good news is that most cosmetic products work perfectly well.  All shampoos will clean hair, lotions will make your skin feel better, conditioners make hair feel better, and color cosmetics help make you look better.  

      To make the right choice you have to figure out what you want your products to do.  There really isn’t any non-prescription lotion that will get rid of wrinkles.  So, if anti-aging is what you are looking for, go to a dermatologist and get a prescription.  But if you are looking for something that feels nice to use and will temporarily relieve dry skin, just try different lotions.  Don’t let the price fool you.  Price has nothing to do with effectiveness.

      My advice.  Start with the least expensive product.  If that doesn’t work for you, go up to the next price point.  When you find something that feels good to use, stick with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.rivera1 Melissa Rivera

    Thanks for this Perry. I always learn so much from PCT and the contributing writers like yourself.

    • Perry Romanowski

      Thanks Melissa!

  • Stephanie

    So true! Unfortunately, government agencies also are a large part of the problem since they are the ones who tell companies what they can and can’t say. It makes it impossible for a company to have honest marketing. Particularly, the small business who are trying to fight the nonsense out on the market.

    • Perry Romanowski

      Thanks for your comments Stephanie.  In the US, the FDA has requirements for what you can say about OTC drugs but for cosmetics, they pretty much stay hands off.  The FTC has one simple rule…You can’t lie about your product. That leaves a lot open for marketers to say.

  • Anonymous

    #6 – ah, darn! sigh

    Excellent and timely article, thank you.

    I’m adding my own peeve: paraben-free. It’s not misleading but what is being used as the replacement is what is not said. I’m either going to put my fingers in it or put it on my lips; or leave it in the sun or a hot car or a humid bathroom, etc.

    • Perry Romanowski

      Thanks!  I categorized paraben-free under the ‘chemical free’ but you’re right, it could probably be it’s own (along with sulfate free, aluminum free, PABA free, etc.)

      • Anonymous

        You probably did and I missed it. I walked away from a lip gloss purchase recently because the packaging proudly announced “paraben-free”. Nice lip gloss, too.

    • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

      The one that irks me are the brands that SHOUT “paraben-free” but contain japanese honeysuckle extract.  CLEARLY they are trying to fool their customers. 

  • Beth

     I have to point out that you are lumping all companies together in your discussion of the use of organics.  I’m sure for many large companies, it is a marketing gimmick they can well afford.  Many small business owners (and perhaps some large businesses as well), however, commit to using organic ingredients out of concern for the well documented impact pesticides have on our health and that of the environment. 

    • Perry Romanowski

      True, some natural/organic brands are more environmentally conscious than others.  But consumers have no way of knowing that.  And even the environmentally conscious brands are making the implied claim that they are somehow “safer” or better for you.  This is just not true.  The brands may be better for the environment but that is not what consumers are taking away from the ‘organic’ claim.

      • Beth

         I don’t know if there has been any research on pesticide residues in personal care products and how using those products might affect our health.  But organic does mean safer for everyone, not just the person using an organic product.  You have to consider how the use of pesticides affects our health as well as the environment. 

        Aside from ingesting them from our food, think of the fact that pesticides have been found in human breast milk and cord blood and how that affects the development and health of children (there is research regarding that).  Farm workers and their children would certainly benefit if people began to demand organic products. 

        Even without considering the direct effect conventional farming has on human health, you have to realize that our health is tied to that of the ecosystem.  Consider the runoff into the groundwater and how pesticides affect organisms that aren’t being targeted like birds and possibly the bees. 

        I believe the natural/green/organic movement arose from a small group of people who were concerned about health.  Unfortunately that vision was taken over by opportunistic people who managed to destroy the significance of those classifications.  It’s fine to be angry with them, but one should not disregard the original message and intent of the movement.

        • Perry Romanowski

          I understand your view about pesticides but it is certainly not a safety issue when it comes to personal care products.  The level of plant ingredients used in cosmetics is so low that any analytic chemist would be hard pressed to find any pesticide residue in a cosmetic product.  

          But there are two problems with organic farming that I see.  First, organic farming uses pesticides.  Rotenone and pyrethrin are two common organic pesticideshttp://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

          FTA – “Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well.”

          Second, organic farming does not produce enough food to feed the world.  We have 7 billion people on this planet.  If we didn’t have big industrial farms there wouldn’t be enough food to feed everyone.

          • http://colinsbeautypages.co.uk/ Colin

            Good points Perry, but I think if anything you are understating the case against organic farming.  Even if the population were not large, it is still damaging to wildlife to use more farmland than is necessary.

          • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

            I’m going to recommend a book — “Eating Animals”.  Factory-farming is extremely hazardous to our environment.  I’m not sure how you can substantiate the comment that growing plants and raising animals organically is damaging to wildlife or uses more farmland than necessary…PCT or S always says ‘site your source’ — so where in the world do you obtain statistics that would support such a statement?

          • Perry Romanowski

            How about this source? http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/food/TrewavasMyths.html

            “Developments
            in the past 25 years have shown how conventional agriculture can be much
            more sustainable and environmentally friendly than organic farming”   (http://www.iacr.bbsrc.ac.uk/lars/depts/cesd/geneticdgroup/willowresearch/twillowindex.html)What scientific studies can you point to that says organic farming is more environmentally friendly?

          • http://colinsbeautypages.co.uk/ Colin

            I am a big fan of organic farming. I think the current level of about 5% of farming done organically is about right.  I think it is good to have more than one farming philosophy on the go at any one time.  You never know what is going to happen in the future and it may well be that organic farmers will turn out to have skills and plant strains that might prove to be useful or even essential one day.  I just don’t buy the claim that it is somehow better for the environment – it just has a different pattern of impact.

      • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

        I’m not sure why you write an article cautioning consumers about lumping in categories such as natural and organic — then do the very same thing yourself.  Consumers have many ways of knowing whether or not a product is “natural” or “organic” because there are 3rd party criterias as well as certifying bodies, not the least of which is the USDA Certified Organic program.

        I also think it is a bit insulting to think that consumers are unable to differentiate the difference between better for “you” and better for the environment. 

        • Perry Romanowski

          No insult meant.  But there is no way for consumers to know.  Organic seals say nothing about product safety or environmental impact.  Organic agriculture uses chemical pesticides & takes more energy to produce less product.  That doesn’t seem more environmentally friendly to me.

          • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

            I’ll agree to disagree since neither of us are organic farmers…oh wait…I am an organic gardener. You don’t seem to understand the environmental impact of factory farming nor the benefits of organic farming. My other post seems to have disappeared – I will summarize to say see the film “Queen of the Sun” and come away thinking organic doesn’t matter and organic foods/ingredients are not better. I *dare* you.

          • Perry Romanowski

            I’ll be sure to check out the movie as I enjoy movies.  However, I do not find movies particularly persuasive as they are not generally created by scientists.  I am highly skeptical of any science being communicated by non-scientists.  Also, I’m still struck by the fact that organic farming is not a practical way to feed 7 billion people.  And it seems wrong to me to use farm land to create cosmetics when there are people in the world who are literally starving.

          • Perry Romanowski

            It’s not a framing question, it’s a legal question.

          • Swifty


             Organic seals say nothing about product safety or environmental impact. ”
            THIS is the truth people (like Susan) are missing.  THIS is the education that needs to happen.

            I don’t see how you can say Perry doesn’t understand – it’s you who have decided NOT to understand.

            A movie?  Really?

          • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

            No…the seals don’t but the criteria behind the use of the seals does.

            And yeah…a movie.  Really.

            Books, too.  But somehow I sense you might just have more of a closed mind than Perry accused me of having.

            Now whether or not an organic food is more beneficial when eaten – that is definately subject to debate.  I know there are studies that show organic produce has more vitamins than the other.  In every case?  No…I don’t think every case has been studied.  But in some…many.

            But benefits of organic are a different subject than whether the growing process is safer organically than with Monsanto GMO and other conventional factory-farming methods. 

            Just as the fact that losing the earths top soil is a critical issue compared to building it back with organic farming methods.  It is NOT just about what pesticide or herbacide is used.

    • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

      Beth – if a company sells less than $2,000 a year they are legally allowed to use the four categories of organic labeling, with the exception of the USDA Certified Organic seal – as long as they meet with all of the legal requirements.  So they do NOT need to be inspected by a 3rd Party approved USDA inspector – but they need to follow the laws (which are more than just what you buy and what you use or don’t use, they also involve record-keeping). 

  • http://www.sterlingminerals.com/ Katherine

    Hi Perry, 

    I think the article is perfect and covers many of my pet peeves as well.  The only little thing that is off putting I believe, is the photo reference to President Bush.  It really serves no purpose to the article and I believe can be insulting to those that have supported our past president.  We want to reach consumers I believe,  and the photo may allow the article to get lost on some, that may have otherwise thought it would have been an interesting read, but did not read it based on the premise of equating the two somehow.  Politics is very personal for many and a sore subject for most, especially in today’s economic climate.

    Just a suggestion, but I personally would not involve the politics of a past president to the cosmetic industry, despite the fact, initially the thought would have been something perhaps “cute,” but I don’t pretend to know your thought process on this one, just only what I see and interpret.

    Thanks

    • http://colinsbeautypages.co.uk/ Colin

      Oh I hadn’t realised that was President Bush.  I thought it was Perry himself.

    • Perry Romanowski

      Good point Katherine.  It wasn’t meant to be political.  It was just the funniest picture I found when searching for the relevant keyword.  Never considered that anyone would give it a second thought or take offense.

      • obviously not a scientist

        Love the pic.

  • http://www.amathiasoapworks.com Kenna

    The bit about organic is a pet peeve of mine. The thing is that it is NOT okay for a cosmetic company to imply or state that they are USDA organic certified if they are not, nor is it okay for them to use the NOP seal unless they are certified (which they entirely can become certified! It’s just very expensive and a very lengthy process.)

    “Any cosmetic, body care product, or personal care product that does not meet the production, handling, processing, labeling, and certification standards described above, may not state, imply, or convey in any way that the product is USDA-certified organic or meets the USDA organic standards.”

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5068442 

    The point makes it sound as if it is not possible for a company to certify organic truthfully, when this is not the case at all. A lot of smaller companies do strive to meet these standards (whether or not they approach certification) because they do truly believe it is better for the environment and for people who use those products. There are other eco-friendly/organic/natural certification programs for cosmetics such as ECO-CERT, etc.

    In my opinion, this point makes it sound as if the “organic” or “eco-friendly” or what have you claims are full of bollocks, even if a company is truly certified or not. There is nothing wrong with a company saying USDA certified organic if they really are or hey, we use biodegradable packaging if they really are. They went through a lot of work to get to be able to say that, let them scream it from the rooftops. I just think the point could have been more about how there are several certifying bodies and that there are no laws in place that prevent companies from making claims that aren’t true (Except, according to the FDA, it’s against the law if a cosmetic is labelled in a fashion that is false or misleading – so again, moot point.)I just never understood why this is always a point that gets hit on – it makes it sound as if companies who do their due diligence in becoming certified or following certain standards are making false claims. 

    • Perry Romanowski

      I don’t disagree with you that some companies try very hard to get USDA certified.  And some even get certified and are able to put the seal on their products.  But you don’t need a seal to say “Organic” or “Natural”.  Anybody can put that on their products.

      The real misleading piece (even by companies who get create USDA certified organic products) is the implication that an organic or natural product is somehow safer or better for you than a traditional cosmetic product.  

      They are not.  There is zero evidence that organic cosmetics are safer for consumers or better for the environment.  That is why the natural claim is misleading.

      • http://www.amathiasoapworks.com Kenna

        If you say “Organic” in a way that implies you are certified, it can be an issue. It’s rare that anything comes of it, but the legalese is there for someone to look at.

        Choosing these products are often a lifestyle choice by the consumer, who they feel as a whole they are choosing these products because they support their personal belief systems. By saying it is misleading, to me, you are saying these customers aren’t entitled to those beliefs.

        I have customers who insist on only using essential oils or only using vegan products or only using products with “natural” colorants, these are all due to their personal belief systems. If it’s a misleading claim to say a product is made with organic ingredients, it is also misleading to say it’s only made with vegan ingredients, is it not one in the same?

        I see no harm in companies specifically labeling their products as to what mindset or belief system they may appeal to, especially because it makes shopping by those individuals easier. Not to mention specifically showing their target market customers (who are looking for these product types) that they have done their due diligence and acknowledge their desires. I don’t see it as a “my products are better because they are organic/natural”, or what have you (mine are quite usually not, by the way.) But for an easy example, I have my EO soaps separate from my FO soaps on my website for ease of shopping for those customers.

        I will not deny that there ARE companies out there who throw the organic and natural stick around like they are playing whack-a-mole on drugs, but overall, it is not a misleading claim for companies who use these phrases or words – it is an identifying mark to the select sector of consumers who feel it is important. The former is a gimmick, the latter is not, IMO.

        • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

          thanks Kenna…ORGANIC MATTERS

      • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

        I have to di

        • Perry Romanowski

          It’s certainly a grey area as the FDA is responsible for cosmetics not the USDA.  The FDA says that it has no definition for ‘organic’ so I could see a company having a perfectly legitimate argument for using the term.  But the FDA does point to the USDA NOP program here 
          http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm203078.htm 

          So, it’s a grey area.  But there is still nothing that prevents a company from using the term ‘Natural’ for any product.  

          • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Apito

            Right on the FDA website is says: “Cosmetic products labeled with organic claims must comply with both USDA regulations for the organic claim and FDA regulations for labeling and safety requirements for cosmetics.”

            Cosmetic products labeled with organic claims must comply with USDA regulations for the organic claim.

            Must. 

            No grey area…MUST.

            http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm203078.htm

          • Perry Romanowski

            I’ll agree to disagree since neither of us are lawyers.

          • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

            Step One: “FDA does not define or regulate the term “organic,” as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products.”

            We all agree here — FDA is not the governing body for the term “organic” — USDA is. But they back the USDA regarding use of the term “organic”.

            Step Two: FDA says “Cosmetic product labeled with organic claims must comply with USDA regulations for the organic claim.”

            Step Three: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service National Organic Program – Cosmetics, Body Care Products, and Personal Care Products
            “The operations which produce the organic agricultural ingredients, the handlers of these agricultural ingredients, and the manufacturer of the final product must all be certified by a USDA-accredited organic certifying agent.”

            http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5068442

          • Perry Romanowski

            Your legal arguments may be right or wrong.  Since you are not a lawyer and neither am I, I reserve judgement.  There are plenty of companies that use the term organic without being certified.

          • DM

            You are correct there is no ‘grey’ area. I’ve posted the direct link to the USDA PDF file explaining organic cosmetic regs. 
            http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5068442

            I’ve also pasted below the key wording taken verbatim from this document; 

            Any cosmetic, body care product, or 
            personal care product that does not meet the 
            production, handling, processing, labeling, 
            and certifi cation standards described above, 
            may not state, imply, or convey in any way 
            that the product is USDA-certifi ed organic or 
            meets the USDA organic standards.

            However:

            ● USDA has no authority over the production 
            and labeling of cosmetics, body care 
            products, and personal care products that are 
            not made up of agricultural ingredients, or do 
            not make any claims to meeting USDA organic 
            standards.
            ● Cosmetics, body care products, and personal 
            care products may be certified to other, 
            private standards and be marketed to those 
            private standards in the United States.  These 
            standards might include foreign organic 
            standards, eco-labels, earth friendly, etc.  
            USDA’s NOP does not regulate these labels at 
            this time 

            As long as there is no mention or claim is made in regards to meeting the USDA organic standards then they have no authority over the use of the word ‘organic’ on a cosmetic label.

            Hope that helps

          • Perry Romanowski

            The court case against companies who were sued for using the term “Organic” without being certified, was just thrown out.  
            http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Regulation-Safety/Dr.-Bronner-lawsuit-over-the-definition-of-naturals-is-dismissed

            Further evidence that it is not illegal to use “organic” in your marketing of cosmetic products.

    • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

      Please watch this video if you think organic does not matter!

      • Perry Romanowski

        I’m missing the point.  I also don’t find a little girl more compelling than scientific researchers.

        Still waiting for your scientific evidence that counters this scientists conclusion. 
        “Developments in the past 25 years have shown how conventional agriculture can be much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than organic farming”   (http://www.iacr.bbsrc.ac.uk/la… scientific studies can you point to that says organic farming is more environmentally friendly?

        • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

          Did you watch 60 Minutes last night?  This is a bit off topic but the story was about pharmaceutical research and getting drugs approved by the FDA.  The story was basically about the placebo effect (you know…the one everyone claims is the only reason alternative medicines like homeopathy work).  Turns out…the placebo effect works even with surgery.  And is pretty much the reason anti-depressants work.  But the part that really shocked me was the fact that the FDA does NOT include negative studies when it evaluates whether or not to approve a new drug.  All they need are two studies showing the drug works better than the placebo.  Two.  There can be ten studies showing the drug does NOT work better…those are simply not given to the FDA to review. (The researcher obtained the negative studies via the Freedom of Information Act).  So… right now…I’m not putting a whole lot of faith in “scientific evidence” when it comes to convincing you that organic agriculture is better for the planet and our health than the alternatives.  I sense that you do not have an open mind and every ‘study’ I might show you, will be countered by one of your own “proving” I am wrong.  I simply do not understand how someone can watch that video – or see the film “Queen of the Sun” and come away anything less than passionatly in favor of labeling GMOs, supporting organic agriculture, and getting rid of pretty much everything Monsanto.  I simply do not understand how anyone does not FEEL the importance to the core of their being…

          • Perry Romanowski

            Ah, this is where you and I are fundamentally different in the way that we see the world.  For me, I hold almost no beliefs and think that everything I believe could be wrong.  If there was good, scientific evidence that shatters a long held belief, I would abandon my belief for the new, better supported theory.  This is why I see myself as much more open minded than you.  

            If you provided good evidence, I would completely believe that Organic farming is the way to go and that GMOs are ruining the planet and Monsanto is evil and should be shut down.  However, I need evidence.  Feelings are not evidence to me.  Anecdotes from children are not evidence.  Popular media coverage of a topic is not evidence.  

            Evidence is scientifically controlled studies that stand up to the scrutiny of the scientific method.  

            I have no interest in being right.  I only wish to know what is true.  Truth is much more important than what I wish was true.

            In my view, you are not open minded.  If you were, you could answer this one simple question.

            What evidence would you need to see to change your belief that Organic farming is better for the planet?  Is there any evidence that would change your mind?

            There is evidence that could convince me either way and in that way, I’m more open minded than you.

          • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

            Oh I am totally not open-minded!  I agree completely.  Not even a LITTLE!  I am totally and completely passionately devoted to the beliefs I have.  Until I am proven wrong. 

            And I have been proven wrong.  Example; I was just telling some of my online friends that are in the cosmetics industry; I visited the Natural Ingredient Resource Center website today and realized I really was one of the most vocal supporters of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics years ago. I really pushed the soap makers I knew to take their pledge, etc. I believed they had the health of the public as their mission. I linked to their articles, shared them on every online discussion list I belonged to.

            I fought a terrible public fight with a friend (former employer) when she questioned the EWG finances (here as a matter of fact.)

            I was wrong…she was right. Maybe that is why I am so vocal… I am the bitter ex-girlfriend of the Campaign!!

            OH…I can hear Adele singing now!! (And if she does not make you cry…then we have something else where we are not alike!)

        • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

          “Based on a 30-year side-by-side trial of conventional and organic farming methods at Pennsylvania’s Rodale Institute, organic farming outperformed conventional farming in every category. Rodale Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research, claims the Farming Systems Trial (FST)® at Rodale Institute is America’s longest running, side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical agriculture.”

          http://wakeup-world.com/2012/02/26/30-year-study-organic-farming-outperforms-conventional-chemical-farming/

          • Perry Romanowski

            Unlikely, but perhaps you might find this compelling.  http://www.skepdic.com/organic.html  

            Rodale Institute is not a scientific organization.  They are dedicated to proving a point and ignore any data that doesn’t agree with the point they want to promote.  
            Still waiting for scientific evidence….