10 Top Suspected "greenwashing" Companies

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 6:24 PM

I read on www. greenwashing.net about the top 10 companies who are being accused of greenwashing. Beware of the following companies and their false claims of being "green":

The Accused

-- Kraft's Post Selects Cereals, for falsely promoting its cereals as having "natural ingredients" when, in fact, the corn used in the cereal is genetically engineered -- made in a lab, not by nature.

-- The Council for Biotechnology Information, for promoting genetically engineered foods and even preaching to children -- through books aimed at kids -- about the benefits of biotechnology without disclosing any of the risks to human health or the environment.

-- Tyson Chicken, for promoting its products as "all natural," even though the company treats its chickens with antibiotics.

-- The Audubon Nature Institute -- not to be confused with the National Audubon Society -- for falsely claiming to support the protection of natural habitats as a way to preserve animal species, while also belonging to the National Wetlands Coalition, which lobbies to weaken the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act. The National Wetlands Coalition is made up of such corporate giants as the American Mining Congress, Chevron, Exxon and the National Association of Homebuilders.

-- Comanche Trace, a commercial developer, for false advertising. Comanche Trace bills its golf courses as "great habitats," even though golf courses deplete natural habitats and use pesticides that poison groundwater.

-- Clairol, for false advertising. The company claims to offer a "truly organic experience" with its Herbal Essences line of shampoos but, according to the report, uses chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol and D&C red no. 33, which are not organic. (The report notes that Clairol does use some organic ingredients, does not test on animals and uses 25 percent post-consumer recycled plastic in its bottles.)

-- American Electric Power, for falsely advertising itself as environmentally friendly and concerned about animal habitats, even though it is a major polluter. Its harmful emissions contribute to air pollution, acid rain, global warming and mercury poisoning, according to the report.

-- Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, for falsely promoting coal as a "clean fuel," even though carbon dioxide, one of the byproducts of coal burning, is the primary greenhouse gas responsible for global warning. Continued global warming will result in rising temperatures, rising sea levels, increased rates of diseases such as malaria and continued water pollution.

(In a recent interview with the Advocate, Joe Lucas, ABEC's vice president of communications, said carbon dioxide -- also the gas that humans breathe out -- isn't a contributor to global warming because if it were, he rationalized, "the government would have to ask us all to stop breathing.")

-- General Motors, for falsely promoting its cars as environmentally friendly, with ads that place GM SUVs in natural habitats as if they were as natural as the birds. In fact, SUVs get very few miles to the gallon and are far more harmful to the environment than most other automobiles. General Motors is a member of the Coalition for Vehicle Choice, an organization that opposes clean air legislation and laws directed at reducing auto emissions.

-- ExxonMobil, for falsely advertising that the air we breathe is getting better, not worse. Along with the rest of the oil and gas industry, ExxonMobil helped to kill the Kyoto Protocol, an international initiative that called for tougher emissions standards.

Be smart! Don"t allow yourself to be sucked by these companies. Knowledge is the key to the truth.

~ Cynthia Pestner

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