Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has filed a lawsuit accusing competitors in the personal-care industry of falsely advertising products as organic. The word “organic” is not federally regulated for personal-care products. Dr. Bronner’s, the soap company known for its basic ingredients and rambling messages, voluntarily follows the USDA organic standard for food, which requires 95 percent organic ingredients and no synthetics or petrochemicals. Personal-care companies are technically free to use the word “organic” without meeting any guidelines, though some meet voluntary standards set by California, and 30 cosmetics companies have come up with their own standard. “The last we know, Bronner was not appointed by any government agency to set a standard,” says a spokesperson for company Juice Beauty. “I’m not sure why we would have to follow a standard set by him.” Other defendants include Estée Lauder (which owns Aveda), Kiss My Face, and Stella McCartney.

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