Tap Water Isn't 'Organic,' Group Says

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:21 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The Organic Consumers Association -- a group that takes organic product labeling very seriously -- says dozens body-care products are illegally labeled as "organic," and as a result of the group's complaints, the state of California will take three months or more to investigate.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, a company called Avalon Natural Products allegedly violated state product-labeling laws by listing tap water as an "organic" ingredient and by using synthetic petroleum-based ingredients in its "organic" cosmetics.

"The investigation by California State regulators shows they are taking seriously our concerns over the misuse of the word 'organic' on cosmetic labels," Ronnie Cummins, executive director of the Organic Consumers Association, said in a press release.

"What Avalon is doing damages consumer trust in products labeled organic. It sends the signal to other cosmetic companies that they can use synthetic surfactants and preservatives in part or wholly derived from petroleum in products claiming 'organic' status."

There's no word on how much it will cost the state health department to conduct the investigation.

The man in charge of the probe called it "an extremely extensive complaint...considering we have 30 different products to examine."

The OCA describes itself as a nationwide non-profit organization of 500,000 organic consumers who monitor issues such as organic standards, public health, food safety, sustainable agriculture, and fair trade.