FTC Guidance on “Toxin-Free”

The FTC issued revised guidance on “green claims” in October 2012.

Of interest is its guidance on claims that a product is free of some toxin.  In its fact sheet, the FTC states:

“Marketers can make a free-of claim for a product that contains some amount of a substance if:

1. the product doesn’t have more than trace amounts or background levels of the substance;

2. the amount of substance present doesn’t cause harm that consumers typically associate with the substance; and

3. the substance wasn’t added to the product intentionally

It would be deceptive to claim that a product is “free-of” a substance if it is free of one substance but includes another that poses a similar environmental risk.

If a product doesn’t contain a substance, it may be deceptive to claim the product is “free‑of” that substance if it never has been associated with that product category.”