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The New York Times reports that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is "updating its environmental marketing guidelines for the first time since 1998 because the number of companies employing them had grown substantially, while the claims themselves had become more ambiguous ... The (revised) guidelines include a tougher-than-expected requirement under which companies must do a sort of trade-off analysis, verifying, for example, that the environmental damage caused by long-distance shipping does not outweigh the benefits of importing recycled material."

The goal is to be more specific about claims and make sure that companies can back up their claims.

According to the Times, "The Green Guides do not cover some other familiar environmental labels used by companies, however, including claims of being organic, sustainable or natural. In the case of sustainable or natural, the commission said it did not have enough basis to define and substantiate those claims. Sustainable, for example, could mean that a product was durable as well as refer to how it was made."
KC's View:
Transparency and accuracy are everything. I'm sure a bunch of people will suggest that the last thing we need is new guidelines, but it also strikes me as irresponsible not to update regulations to reflect changes and advances in what we know and what companies do.