Organic - A Definition

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Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms: organic matter.
Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ: an organic disease.
Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin:
organic vegetables; an organic farm.
Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals:
organic chicken; organic cattle farming.
Serving organic food: an organic restaurant.
Simple, healthful, and close to nature: an organic lifestyle.


Relating to, involving, or of the nature of synthesis.
Chemistry. Produced by synthesis, especially not of natural origin.
Not natural or genuine; artificial or contrived:
"counterfeit rhetoric that flourishes when passions are synthetic"(George F. Will).
Prepared or made artificially: synthetic leather. See Synonyms at artificial.

It sounds so simple doesn't it? But there are companies that can twist a clear definition of what is considered organic or "natural" by using water.

100% Organic Water

According to the Los Angeles Times, the leading organic body care product corporations may have gotten away with too much for too long. A recent article in the newspaper pointed out that activists are gearing up to pressure the federal government into passing regulations that protect consumers from misleading advertising in the $2.8 billion natural cosmetics industry. Unfortunately, the current USDA organic standards don't directly apply to body care products. As a result, companies that advertise a "totally organic experience" with their products when truthfully only a very small percentage of the product is actually organic. They can make the claim that their product is 70% organic, but if you take a close look at the back label and you'll find the main "organic" ingredient is water (infused with small amounts of organic herbs).

What this is called is "floral waters" (or hydrosols). Floral waters are the water by-products of essentials oil steam distillation and are basically a complicated way of making "tea". Companies making body care products based on synthetic surfactants (detergents or wetting agents) front-load their ingredient list with floral waters and water extracts/infusions. the names of the synthetic surfactants that actually make up the product are buried further down the list. These waters are claimed to be key functional organic components but are, in the context of the whole product, inconsequential.

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