Not So Organic...Popular Baby Skincare Brand Fined Close To $40K For Misleading Mums

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By: Melissa Fine, ellaslist 

Lining the baby skincare shelves at a number of health food stores and supermarkets, GAIA Natural Baby has paid the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) a $37,800 fine for describing three of their products as 'Pure', 'Natural' and 'Organic' - in spite of them containing two synthetic chemical preservatives: sodium hydroxyl methyl glycinate and phenoxyethanol.

While organic certification isn’t legally required for Australian products to be titled as ‘organic’ on the packaging, a product should not mislead consumers, according to the ACCC.  

What GAIA Had To Say 

GAIA willingly paid the three infringement notices concerning their Baby Bath & Body Wash, Baby Shampoo and Baby Moisturiser "in the interest of resolving the matter in a commercial and collaborative manner," however they stressed in their media release that "this not an acknowledgment by us of any wrongdoing. We firmly believe that we have complied with the current Australian Consumer Law as well as Australian cosmetic standards and guidelines."

GAIA argued that never did they claim "that the product is fully organic", adding that there is no approved list of preservatives for organic cosmetic manufacturers. "All water based products must contain a preservative," they further argued. 

Are The Products Safe?

Consumer safety is at the top of their priority list, GAIA stressed: "We agree that it is imperative that cosmetics and skin care products must be adequately preserved and safe for the consumer to use. We also agree with the ACCC comments that the “infringement notice issued to GAIA over the baby products didn’t mean the products are not safe to use”." 

An approved list of preservatives considered 'organic' for skincare and beauty products might prevent such infringement notices in the future, ensuring nothing is lost in translation between commercial brands and the consumer watchdog. 

 

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