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Arbonne Company–Mislead information!!!!

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I am 50 yrs. old and I had decided that I wanted to switch all my cosmetics to an organic cosmetic line for health reasons. I read that chemical laden products that we put on our bodies act as xenoestrogens and can affect/disrupt your hormonal balance. I am menopausal and have menopausal side effects still and felt that changing to an organic cosmetic line would not only be more healthy, but help decrease the possibility of my menopausal symptoms. I was also interested in changing all my house cleaning products, lotions, soaps to an organic line as well. Personally, I know someone who works for the Arbonne Company and she highly recommended their products since she stated that they were organic, and did not have the chemical laden toxic ingredients in them that the other non-organic companies have in their cosmetic line. She gave me the Arbonne Catalogue which is very detailed and has a lot of information in it about their “pure, safe and botanical” products. The first sentence in the Arbonne catalogue states “Arbonne is a highly regarded, premium brand with a Swiss heritage. The products are healthy, botanically based and inspired by nature.” To me this sounded impressive and inspiring, and gave me the encouragement to invest in what I thought was a highly reputable company that offered non-toxic, chemical free, natural, safe, pure products for their customers. Initially the representative of the Arbonne Company in my area gave me free samples of some of the Arbonne products—Facial Cleanser, Restorative Day Crème with SPF 20, Regenerative Toner, Night Repair Creme, Intensive Renewal Serum. I loved the fruity smell of these products and they felt so refreshing on my skin and I thought that I was putting healthy non toxic chemical free organic products on my face. These cosmetic products are extremely expensive, but I felt that it was worth spending the extra money since I thought I was investing in myself and providing the best high quality of non toxic, chemical free pure safe organic products for my face and body, and as a result I would be healthier. The ingredient list of the Arbonne products are an amazing array of healthy pure safe ingredients such as sea buckthorn oil, marine lavender extract, beech tree bud extract, algae extract, alfalfa seed extract pineapple, papaya enzymes, orange fruit extract, and on and on. The list of healthy organic ingredients for the Arbonne products is more than impressive and there is a list of all of them on three pages near the back of the Arbonne Catalogue. There are a total of 211 healthy non-toxic chemical free botanical substances that Arbonne uses in their products, some only have three or four of them in one product, but this list entails all the different substances that may be used in certain products. Plus, on page 10 of the Arbonne catalogue, they state that their “PRIOMISE is to deliver pure, safe and beneficial products in line with our botanical tradition.” On this particular page they state that their products are formulated without: animal products or animal by products, parabens, formaldehyde-donating preservatives, petroleum-based ingredients such as benzene, mineral oil, petrolatum, phthalates, toluene, and no artificial colors, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners, animal products, animal by-products, cholesterol, tans fats.” All of this from a consumer’s point of view sounds enticing and I felt encouraged to invest in their products. I informed the representative of the Arbonne Company from my area that I wanted to order the following products for myself–Makeup Primer, Concealer, Sheer Pressed Powder, Blush, eyeshadow,and eyeliner. During the next two weeks I started to investigate further about the ingredients listed in the Arbonne Products. One thing I noticed was that most of the Arbonne products only list their KEY ingredients which of course was all the healthy botanical, pure, safe, non toxic chemical free substances, but no other ingredients which I found odd. Secondly, in most of the SPF products the KEY ingredients and the ACTIVE ingredients were listed, and that’s when I noticed in the ACTIVE ingredients certain substances that not only was it difficult to pronounce the words, but difficult to remember how to spell them as well. This is when I began to investigate what these particular ingredients were, and what affect they have on our bodies and our health. I discovered that The Arbonne SPF products have toxic carcinogenic ingredients in them which are known as oxybenzone, homosolate, octinoxate also known as octylmethoxycinnamate, and octocrylene ingredients, and will be further discussed below. The following information about this particular toxic chemical—OXYBENZONE was obtained from the internet, and I was surprised to read about its deleterious effects on our bodies. Remember, that this is only ONE out of the four harmful substances that the Arbonne Company uses in their SPF products. According to an article on the internet “Avoid Oxybenzone when Buying Sunscreen” it states “of additional concern is that the surface area of a child’s skin relative to body weight is greater than that of adults, meaning they stand to absorb more of the chemical.” April 8, 2009.   A new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in May 18, 2009 reveals that 97% of Americans are contaminated with a widely-used sunscreen ingredient called OXYBENZONE that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. A companion study published just one day earlier revealed that this chemical is linked to low birth weight in baby girls whose mothers are exposed during pregnancy. Oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin. View name-brand products that contain OXYBENZONE • Sunscreens (588 products) • facial moisturizer/treatment • other products with SPF • lip balm • lipstick • moisturizer • anti-agin creams • conditioner • fragrance for women Although oxybenzone is most common in sunscreen, companies also use the chemical in at least 567 other personal care products. Environmental Working GroupEWG identified nearly 600 sunscreens sold in the U.S. that contain oxybenzone, including products by Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone, and Banana Boat (see the full list of 588 sunscreens here) as well as 172 facial moisturizers, 111 lip balms, and 81 different types of lipstick. The Food and Drug Administration has failed miserably in its duty to protect the public from toxic chemicals like oxybenzone in personal care products. At the request of industry lobbyists, including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who represented the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, the agency has delayed final sunscreen safety standards for nearly 30 years. FDA issued a new draft of the standards last October under pressure from EWG, but continues to delay finalizing them at the behest of the regulated industry. EWG research shows that 84% of 910 name-brand sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients, like oxybenzone, with significant safety concerns. The last safety review for oxybenzone was done in the 1970s, and does not reflect a wealth of information developed since that time indicating increased toxicity concerns and widespread human exposure. A recent review in the European Union found that sufficient data were not available to assess if oxybenzone in sunscreen was safe for consumers. Environmental Working Group again calls on FDA to review the safety of oxybenzone, given this new data on widespread contamination of the U.S. population, and to finalize its sunscreen safety standards so that consumers can be certain that sunscreen products they purchase are safe and effective. CDC study of oxybenzone signals concern Top scientists from CDC published results March 21, 2008 from a national survey of 2,500 Americans, age 6 and up, showing that oxybenzone readily absorbs into the body and is present in 97% of Americans tested (Calafat 2008). Oxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-3, was detected in the urine of nearly every study participant. Typically, women and girls had higher levels of oxybenzone in their bodies than men and boys, likely a result of differences in use of body care products including sunscreens. A companion study released a day earlier revealed that mothers with high levels of oxybenzone in their bodies were more likely to give birth to underweight baby girls (Wolff 2008). Low birth weight is a critical risk factor linked to coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases in adulthood (Lau 2004). Oxybenzone damages and penetrates the skin Among common sunscreen chemicals, oxybenzone is most likely to be associated with allergic reactions triggered by sun exposure. In a study of 82 patients with photoallergic contact dermatitis, over one quarter showed photoallergic reactions to oxybenzone (Rodriguez 2006); another study reported 1 in 5 allergic reactions to photopatch tests resulted from exposure to oxybenzone (Bryden 2006). Sunlight also causes oxybenzone to form free radical chemicals that may be linked to cell damage, according to 2 of 3 studies (Allen 1996; Serpone 2002; Hanson 2006). A less visible but more alarming concern, this chemical absorbs through the skin in significant amounts, as indicated by the CDC study. A previous biomonitoring study reported that 96% of 6 to 8 year old girls had detectable amounts of oxybenzone in their urine (Wolff 2007). An earlier study detected oxybenzone in the urine of all 30 adult participants (Ye 2005). Studies on human volunteers indicate a wide variation in the level of oxybenzone absorbed into the body, with some individuals absorbing at least 9% of the applied dose, as measured in excretions in urine (Hayden 1997; Janjua 2004; Sarveiya 2004; Gonzalez 2006). Volunteers continued to excrete oxybenzone many days after the last application of the chemical, an indication of its tendency to accumulate in fatty tissues in the body (Gonzalez 2006). In addition to its ability to absorb into the body, oxybenzone is also a penetration enhancer, a chemical that helps other chemicals penetrate the skin (Pont 2004). Oxybenzone may disrupt the human hormone system Studies on cells and laboratory animals indicate that oxybenzone and its metabolites, the chemicals the body makes from oxybenzone in an attempt to detoxify and excrete it, may disrupt the hormone system. Under study conditions, oxybenzone and its metabolites cause weak estrogenic (Nakagawa 2002; Schlumpf 2001, 2004; Kunz 2006; van Liempd 2007) and anti-androgenic (Ma 2003) effects. Oxybenzone displays additive hormonal effects when tested with other sunscreen chemicals (Heneweer 2005). Laboratory study also suggests that oxybenzone may affect the adrenal hormone system (Ziolkowska 2006). One human study coapplying 3 sunscreen active ingredients (oxybenzone, 4-MBC, and octinoxate) suggested a minor, intermittent, but statistically significant drop in testosterone levels in men during a one-week application period (Janjua 2004). Researchers also detected statistically significant declines in estradiol levels in men; other hormonal differences detected could not be linked to sunscreen use due to differences in baseline hormone levels before and during treatment. Outdated health protections do not take into account these and other adverse effects A 2006 European Union review concluded that a rigorous exposure assessment of oxybenzone was impossible, due to lack of information about the levels of absorption into the body (SCCP 2006). The levels of contamination reported in this latest CDC study indicate that absorption may be significant, consistent with previous, small-scale biomonitoring reports. A decades-old evaluation by FDA, as well as more recent review by the cosmetics industry’s own safety panel, do not consider concerns regarding hormone disruption, nor the implications of the ability of oxybenzone to penetrate the skin (USPC 1975; FDA 1978; CIR 1983, 2002). At present, no health-based standards exist for safe levels of oxybenzone in the body. Additional cautions must be employed when considering the effects of oxybenzone on children. The surface area of a child's skin relative to body weight is greater than adults. As a result, the potential dose of a chemical following dermal exposure is likely to be about 1.4 times greater in children than in adults (SCCNFP 2001). In addition, children are less able than adults to detoxify and excrete chemicals, and children's developing organ systems are more vulnerable to damage from chemical exposures, and more sensitive to low levels of hormonally active compounds (NAS 1993; Janjua 2004). Children also have more years of future life in which to develop disease triggered by early exposure to chemicals (NAS 1993). Despite these well-documented concerns regarding children's sensitivity to harmful substances, no special protections exist regarding ingredients in personal care products marketed for babies and children. The fraction of oxybenzone that is not absorbed into the human body often contaminates water, washed from the skin during swimming and water play or while bathing (Lambropolou 2002; Danovaro 2008). Wastewater treatment removes only a fraction of this sunscreen chemical (Li 2007), resulting in detection of oxybenzone in treated wastewater, in lake and sea waters due to recreational use or to discharges from water treatment facilities, and even in fish (Balmer 2005; Cuderman 2007; Li 2007). Studies show oxybenzone can trigger outbreaks of viral infection in coral reefs (Danovaro 2008), and can cause feminization of male fish (Kunz 2006). Despite significant ecological concerns, there are no measures in place to protect sensitive ecosystems from damage caused by this contaminant. EWG Environmental Working Group to FDA: Oxybenzone investigation is long overdue   FDA last reviewed the safety of oxybenzone in the 1970s (USPC 1975), republishing its evaluation in 1978, at the same time it announced plans to develop comprehensive standards for sunscreen safety and effectiveness (FDA 1978). 30 years later, the Agency has yet to issue final regulations. Instead, it encourages manufacturers to follow draft guidelines that the Agency has delayed finalizing at the behest of the sunscreen industry. As a result, sunscreen manufacturers in the U.S. are free to market products containing ingredients like oxybenzone that have not been proven safe for people. Found in over half of the 910 name-brand sunscreen products we reviewed, oxybenzone is tied to significant health concerns that must be scrutinized. Instead, FDA’s refusal to re-examine this ingredient keeps sunscreens containing oxybenzone on the market. Petitions for review of newly developed sunscreen ingredients approved for use in other countries, and with far fewer health concerns, have been met with similar inattention, blocking Americans’ access to better products. Urine tests show that it sticks around. In 2008, the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention conducted a similar experiment on a national scale, and found the chemical compound to be present in 96.8% of the human urine samples surveyed. As a result, it is recommended that parents keep their small children from using products containing the ingredient oxybenzone.FDA foot-dragging has left the U.S. without enforceable standards for sunscreen safety and effectiveness for decades. EWG demands that FDA finalize the latest version of its monograph on sunscreen products immediately, and launch an investigation into the safety of the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone.” Safety measures/side effects from the article: Truth in Aging As a photocarcinogen, it’s demonstrated an increase in the production of harmful free radicals and an ability to attack DNA cells; for this reason, it is believed to be a contributing factor in the recent rise of melanoma cases with sunscreen users. Some studies have shown it to behave similarly to the hormone estrogen, suggesting that it may cause breast cancer. It has also been linked to contact eczema. For many years, the dangers were ignored on the assumption that oxybenzone didn't get absorbed by the skin. A team of researchers in Australia, led by Cameron Hayden, demonstrated otherwise using commercially available sunscreen with a 6% concentration of oxybenzone. Haydon's conclusion: the use of oxybenzone is inadvisable for large surface area application for extended and repeated periods.” May 18, 2009. Another chemical laden product that is found in the Arbonne SPF products is HOMOSOLATE which is a :synthetic sunscreen ingredient and UVB protector. Research indicates it is a weak hormone disruptor, forms toxic metabolites, and can enhance the penetration of a toxic herbicide.” found on the internet: EWG. OCTYL-METHOXYCINNAMATE: third component in SPF Arbonne products • Topical octyl-methoxycinnamate is absorbed by the body, as indicated in a study conducted by the Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen and published in the July 2004 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. When used topically for two weeks, octyl-methoxycinnamate was detectable in urine. Cancer • Octyl-methoxycinnamate increased proliferation of breast cancer cells during a study conducted by the University of Zurich in Switzerland and published in the March 2001 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. Hormonal Activity The Zurich study also found evidence of estrogenic activity associated with octyl-methoxycinnamate, along with increases in uterine weight in rats. The Bispebjerg Hospital study noted minor differences in testosterone levels associated with octyl-methoxycinnamate use. Side Effects of Octyl-Methoxycinnamate. Octyl-methoxycinnamate is a common active ingredient in topical sunscreen products. Also called ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and octinoxate. OCTOCRYLENE: This organic compound, Octocrylene can penetrate into the skin where it acts as a photosensitizer. This results in an increased production of free radicals under illumination.[2] Free radicals are known to induce indirect DNA damage and an increased concentration of free radicals might have contributed to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users compared to non-users found on Wikipedia Other HIGH concerns: Biochemical or cellular level changes; Other MODERATE concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulation; Other LOW concerns: Ecotoxicology About OCTOCRYLENE: Octocrylene is a synthetic UV absorber and sunscreen agent; may be used in combination with other UV absorbers to achieve higher SPF formulas. It produces oxygen radicals when exposed to UV light. Safety Measures/Side Effects: Octocrylene can penetrate into the skin and act as a photosensitizer, resulting in an increased production of free radicals. Free radicals can induce indirect DNA damage and potentially contribute to the increased incidence of malignant melanoma in sunscreen-users compared to non-users, according to Wikipedia.” The CosmeticsDatabase finds Octocrylene to be a “moderate hazard, due to potential reproductive toxicity and the above mentioned potential carcinogenic side effects.” After further investigation I also noticed that the full ingredient list for Arbonne products is not in their catalogue nor on their web site. However, when you check their web site the Arbonne Company does list MORE of the ingredients in their products than in the Catalogue, but I did notice that there are EVEN MORE ingredients listed on the box that the product is packaged in. I did call the representative that I dealt with in my area, and she informed me that the FULL list of ingredients is listed on the boxes that the products are packaged in which is not very useful, considering that most customers would throw the boxes out. Personally I would rely on the actual product container for information about the ingredients or the Arbonne Catalogue, and/or the Arbonne web site which all fail to enlist ALL the ingredients. However, I still had some of the boxes and that was when I noticed a chemically toxic harmful ingredient in some of the facial products after further investigation, in particular with the Arbonne Makeup Primer and Sheer Pressed Powder. The chemical in question that I investigated on line in both of these Arbonne products is known as PHENOXYETHANOL. “According to a warning by the FDA of 2008 "Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants". “Phenoxyethanol is made out of carcinogenic and toxic compounds, phenoxyethanol is an ingredient that I would suggest avoiding. Oftentimes it's found in "natural" products. They'll use phenoxyethanol as the preservative and then tout that they're "paraben-free." In addition it's commonly used as a fragrance ingredient. Many of the natural companies still use synthetic fragrance. Some companies may claim that their phenoxyethanol is extracted from natural sources. So, while this is better because it lessens the risk for ethylene oxide contamination, it is still the same chemical structurally, and would pose the same risks. They'll tout that they're "phthalate-free" but still contain phenoxyethanol. So, just because something's "phlalate-free" or "paraben-free" doesn't mean it's safe. Any time you see "fragrance" listed, phenoxyethanol could be present, along with any number of harmful synthetic chemicals. Phenoxyethanol is structurally similar to parabens on a chemical level, so its toxicity to the reproductive system is not surprising.” Chemical of the Day: Feb.28,2011. However, in the Arbonne catalogue they state: “As part of our ongoing commitment to ingredient excellence, we have been successful in replacing parabens by using other safe and effective preservation systems. We will continue to bring to market top-quality products that are carefully reviewed to meet our high standards of purity.” What we put on our bodies is very important and can have either a positive or negative effect, especially when it comes to applying topical products to our bodies. Applying nutrient rich natural skin care products to our bodies instead of chemically toxic products will allow us to have healthier skin and make us have healthier bodies as well. Our skin absorbs 60% of these nutrients - that's a better absorption rate than what you'll get from your daily vitamins which is only about 10-20%. The following was on the internet-Eco and the article was titled, How much does the Skin absorb? “Our skin, the largest eliminatory organ in the body and our first line of immunity, is permeable to all chemicals. Medical research shows that significant amounts of cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogenic substances, penetrate the skin and end up in the blood stream. Many chemicals in cosmetics don’t cause obvious signs of toxicity on the skin but slowly poison us thorough repeated use. Today, the administration of drugs and medicines is often through transdermal skin patches. This has been shown to be up to 95% more effective than oral medication. However, cosmetic manufacturers are not supposed to claim that the skin absorbs their products. If they did the products would be labelled a drug and governed by much stricter regulations. This is both good and bad for us. Good because it means our skin can be fed, nourished and treated from the outside with some wonderful substances.Yes! Like fresh goat’s milk soaps, Jojoba-Shea lotions without petroleum products…Bad because it means we can absorb commonly used cosmetic ingredients that would never be allowed to be taken orally as a food or drug, through our skin.” May 31, 2008.     Personally, I feel that consumers should NOT have to go to the lengths that I did to find out what is REALLY in the Arbonne products. Companies should be held accountable for their statements especially if they are stating that their products are safe, chemically free, non toxic, botanically healthy and pure which is NOT true after my investigation into some of the Arbonne products. On page 10 of the Arbonne Catalogue, they state: “Arbonne rigorously adheres to the regulations for all natural health products and non-prescription drugs including pre-market notification, strict labeling requirements, mandatory adverse event reporting, and ensures that Good Manufacturing Practices GMP as well as appropriate facility registration are followed. Before Arbonne brings any products to market, we ensure all ingredients undergo rigorous safety assessments, and finished formulas pass strict safety testing to ensure their highest quality. These safety tests include irritancy and allergy testing for all products, ophthalmology testing for eye products, dermatologist testing for all beauty products and additional pediatrician testing for baby products. Arbonne offers premium quality beauty, health and wellness products with targeted results.” On Dec.1, 2012, I had e-mailed a representative named Stacey from the Arbonne Company web site and I asked her what organic percentage the Arbonne products are and she e-mailed me back and stated, “100% organic.” This is someone who is a representative of the Arbonne Company, and her statement is totally false and very misleading. I did send another e-mail on Dec.4, 2012 to a different representative, Melinda Gibson, Arbonne Customer Service who responded with the following information with regard to my questions---What is the organic percentage of your products, are you Ecocert certified, and thirdly, where is the full ingredient list for each of your products? Melinda Gibson responded with the following e-mail. “Thank you for your interest in Arbonne. It is my pleasure to assist you with your inquiry regarding full ingredient lists and the organic percentage of our products. Arbonne Product Development’s line of thinking along these lines is to heighten our environmental awareness. When available, and sustainable without shortage issues, organic will be better, especially in our commitment to avoid GMO. Note that this is only part of the pure, safe, beneficial “picture”, if you will. Organic does not guarantee purity or safety, but is more beneficial to the farming environment. Science, and testing to ensure purity and safety, is critical. So we need to proceed forward on many fronts. Certain ingredients will never be Organic. They are wild crafted, such as, for example, Eucalyptus in Australia. So in short, Arbonne will continue our plant-based science enhanced commitment. The key is traceability from soil to our bottle. Some Arbonne ingredients are organic, but not the finished products. These ingredients are found mainly in the cosmetics, where organic plant extracts are used. We are pleased to offer product information, including ingredients to all potential Clients and Preferred Clients who access the Arbonne website. Potential Clients and Preferred Clients may access this information by following the steps below: 1. Access the Arbonne website at (or for Canada 2. Click on The Products3. Select the Product Category Access to the Product Line will be displayed with information about the product and its ingredients.” For those of you who are not familiar with the abbreviated GMO, I have a definition which was obtained from the web site called, “Shop Orgnaic & ShopGMO Free.” What is a GMO? A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant or animal whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering (GE) techniques. This technology combines DNA from different species, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Nearly all commercial GMO’s are designed to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide, resulting in using more pesticides as weeds and bugs develop resistance to them.” As I had already mentioned earlier the full ingredient list is NOT on their website. It is on the boxes that the products are packaged in and that’s where I found more of the toxic chemicals in the Arbonne product line so this comment by the Arbonne Customer Service is false and very midleading. Secondly, she did not even answer my initial question which was --What is the organic percentage in the Arbonne product line? I sent another e-mail on Dec.5, 2012, again requesting the organic percentage in the Arbonne products, and I received another e-mail from a different Arbonne Customer Service representative which is entailed below from Pam A. “Thank you for your e-mail. We can appreciate your concern about the percentage of organic ingredients used in our products. I am happy to address your concerns. Arbonne is unable to provide the information you have requested. The botanical ingredients used in Arbonne's products are organic, from the perspective of having been grown without harmful chemicals or pesticides. Not all ingredients are available as organic which is why we cannot make such a claim that all ingredients are organic or that our products are certified organic. Arbonne Cosmetics are not genetically engineered, nor are they 100% organic; however, the botanicals that were used in the formulas are organic. Below are the ingredients that are Eco-cert Certified and Organically Cultivated Plants certified by Bio-Suisse: Marrubium Vulgare Extract Buddleja Davidii Extract Thymus Vulgaris Extract Scutellaria Alpine Flower/Leaf Extract All of our other products cannot be claimed to be 100% organic - our policy is to use organic ingredients whenever possible. Sometimes, we find that the best quality ingredients are not the organic ones, so we use the ingredients of the higher quality which are not organic in those cases. Regards, Pam A. Arbonne Customer Service” ______________________________________ reading the e-mail from the Arbonne Customer Service Representative, I went on-line to inquire about the requirements to be considered Bio-Suisse and Eco-Cert Certified. Below are the standards and requirements that I obtained on-line to be considered Bio-Suisse Certfied. BIO-SUISSE “THE BUD LABEL STANDS FOR • Natural diversity on the organic farm • Ethologically sound livestock management and feeding • No use of chemically synthesized pesticides or fertilizers • No use of genetic engineering • No use of unnecessary additives such as flavourings and colourings • Non-aggressive processing of foodstuffs • inspection of organic production and processing REPRESENTATION OF INTERESTS As the body which represents the interests of Swiss organic farmers and awards the label, Bio Suisse has a demanding dual role, which strongly shapes the Association's activities. Communication within the Association is therefore very important.   LABEL PREMIUMAND MARKET ACCESS   The principal benefit for organic farms is the label premium, i.e. the 15 - 50% higher prices that organic farmers earn for their produce. Secondly, they benefit from the measurable progress in improving market access for the Bud: a new Bud-labelled product appears almost daily, continuously expanding the position of Swiss organic products in the food market. GROWING BRAND RECOGNITION Thanks to extraordinary efforts (TV advertisements, trade fairs, posters, public relations work, improvement of product quality) the Bud label has pulled into second place, and now ranks directly behind Coop's own Naturaplan label for brand recognition. A representative survey by the market research institute IHA showed that by the end of December 2003, over 70% of Swiss citizens were familiar with the Bud label.” Bio Suisse Margarethenstrasse 87 CH-4053 Basel Switzerland Telephone: ++41 (0) 61 385 96 10, Fax: ++41 (0) 61 385 96 11 Email: bio at bio-suisse dot ch Furthermore, I also obtained information from on-line that outline the requirements and standards to be considered Eco-Cert Certified. ECOCERT CERTIFICATION “Ecocert was the very first certification body to develop standards for "natural and organic cosmetics". Introduced in 2003, the specification was drawn up in conjunction with all stakeholders in the value chain, i.e. experts, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers and development organisations. Ecocert currently supports and guides more than 1,000 companies through their certification processes. The basic principles of the Ecocert standard To ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic product, the Ecocert standard lays down: 1. The use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. Ecocert therefore checks: • The absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.). • The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging. 2. A minimum threshold of natural ingredients from organic farming to be reached to obtain certification: • For both labels, Ecocert Standard imposes that a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients come from natural origin. • For the natural and organic cosmetic label: A minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. For the NATURAL COSMETIC LABEL: A minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. /!: Some ingredients very frequently found in cosmetics (water, salts, minerals) cannot be certified as organic because they are not sourced from farming. For example, shampoos and some creams, mostly composed of water, contain between 10% and 40% organic ingredients, and always 95% natural ingredients. An essential oil, which does not contain water, can be up to 100% organic ingredients. On site audit is performed by Ecocert auditor. CONTACTS Eastern Office 71, St-Onesime Levis, (Quebec) Canada G6V 5Z4 T: (418) 838-6941 (418) 838-6941 F: (418) 838-9823 • For Information: • Accounting: Nancy Roy • Director: France Gravel • Certification Coordinator: Darie Lavigne • Customer Service: Caroline Levesque Ontario Office 42 Preston Street Guelph, ON N1H 3C3 T: 519-265-3319 519-265-3319 F: 418-838-9823 • Simon Jacques: Western Office # 1 Silver stream road Box 2293 Tisdale, SK S0E 1T0 T: 306-873-2207 306-873-2207 F: 306-873-4941 • Russell Plamondon : • Useful information: - Ecocert practical guides - The natural and organic cosmetics certification procedure - The certification process for natural and organic cosmetics • Standard: - Ecocert standard • List: - Ecocert Greenlife operators >> List of approved raw materials for natural and organic cosmetics >> List of raw materials certified by Ecocert according to Ecocert and Cosmos standards     Contacts: Ecocert Greenlife SAS, Cosmetic Department If you wish to apply for the certification of your products, please fill in our contact form, call our customer service at + 33 (0) 5 62 07 51 07 or send us an email: For any other requests, please call +33 (0) 5 62 07 51 09 or send us an email: Below is an e-mail that I sent to France Gravel, Director of Eco-Certified with my concerns and issues with regard to the Arbonne Company who are stating that they are Eco-Certified which seems questionable, considering the above standards and requirements. To France Gravel, Director of Eco-Certified, Dec. 6, 2012 I was reading about your web site, Eco-cert Certified, and noted that you have strict regulations with regard to being labelled as certified by Eco-Cert with regards to allowable ingredients in products which I think is very commendable and makes me as a consumer feel safe and protected. I was wondering if it is possible to award a Cosmetic Company the Eco-cert certification label when they not only have healthy safe pure natural organic ingredients in their cosmetic line, but have also added unsafe unhealthy toxic chemically laden ingredients in their cosmetic line such as phenoxyethanol, avebenzone, homosolate, octinoxate, and octocylene. I personally have been doing a lot of research and investigation into the various ingredients in the Arbonne Company's cosmetic line who stated that they are Eco-Cert Certified and Bio-Suisse Certified, and yet they have toxic, chemically laden unsafe, not pure and very unhealthy ingredients in their products, but yet the Arbonne company states in their catalogue that their 'Promise is to deliver pure, safe and beneficial products in line with our botanical tradition." I attached the letters that I sent to the Arbonne Company and the Arbonne Representative’s responses as already indicated earlier. My letter to Frances Gravel futher stated the following----Just to let you know they do have some amazing incredible healthy ingredients in their cosmetic line as well like kiwi, beech tree, aloe, pineapple, mango green tea, grape seed, cucumber, and on and on up to 211 different healthy ingredients are mentioned, but they also have some of these other toxic unhealthy ingredients in their line. Unfortunately, the Arbonne company has very misleading information when it comes to listing their ingredients in their products. First of all when you check the ingredients in their catalogue, they list the KEY ingredients only in most of them which is of course, all the healthy pure safe natural ingredients, and then in other products they will list the both the Key ingredients and Active ingredients. In their SPF product line where they listed the Active ingredients, I discovered that there are toxic, chemically laden unsafe and not pure ingredients, but they also list the pure safe non toxic ingredients as well. However, if you go to their web site to check the ingredient list, then there is a more extensive list of ingredients, but these tend to be very healthy and not chemically laden nor toxic. And yet, when you compare the ingredient list on the packaged box that their product line comes in, then there are even more ingredients listed and that is where I noticed that the Facial Primer and pressed powder cosmetic products also contained toxic chemicals in them as well such as phenoxyethanol. I did talk to a representative who informed me that the box has the full list of ingredients of their products, but yet another representative told me that the full list of ingredients is on their web site which is incorrect. So personally I am confused, and wonder how a company can be awarded the Eco-Cert Certified label when they are very misleading and secondly, when they fail to provide us as the consumers with a pure, safe and healthy non toxic product line. I would appreciate your response to my concerns. Thank you. Just to let you know, I was only able to research the SPF products, pressed facial powder, and facial primer since I had thrown out the other boxes which most consumers would do from the mascara, blush, concealer, and eyeshadow. I have not researched any other of their products. I am interested in your response. I would have rather talked to you in person but I don't want to pay the long distance phone call. Please respond to my concerns about this matter. Personally I think its a shame that I had to go through so much research and investigation to find this out when this particular company is very misleading and is in essence not telling the truth. The worse part is that they are claiming that they are Bio-Suisse Certified and Eco-cert Certified which I don't think they should be. Please address all my issues. I would appreciate it. Thanks.”

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