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Andalou Naturals Says No To GMOs In Beauty Products

Filed Under: Personal Care,Regulations & Law at 3:47 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor



Andalou Naturals Says No To GMOs In Beauty Products.

This October, a premier manufacturer of innovative fruit stem cell-based skin, body and hair care is leading the way for GMO Awareness Month.

If the saying  is true — that truth and beauty are inherently linked – how puzzling it is that the unnatural and artificial chemicals we use in the name of achieving a standard of beauty is often in direct conflict with our physical and emotional wellbeing.

However, there is one company that strives to avoid this conflict at all cost, Andalou Naturals. When they achieved Non-GMO Project verification in January 2013, they were already 100% Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Cruelty-Free, and Eco-friendly. Naturally, becoming Non-GMO verified was inevitable.

 What’s a GMO?

A GMO, AKA “genetically modified organisms,” are organisms that have been created through the gene-splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). According to the USDA, in 2009, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of corn grown in the U.S. were GMO. However, in 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, as there remain unanswered questions regarding their effects on the people who consume them.

 GMOs are in Personal Care?

The term GMO is not only applicable to food but personal care too.  What goes on our body goes in our body. Think about it: the crops grown for personal care products and food come from the same farm. GMO effects on human health and the environment are concerning whether they are topically applied and absorbed through the skin or ingested.  Andalou Naturals takes pride in knowing the farmer who grows their ingredients as well as the human chain of hands that makes their labeling transparency a reality.

How can I avoid GMOs in Personal Care?

Andalou Naturals has taken their passion for pure and natural ingredients to the next level by launching the “We support your right to know. GMO labeling equals informed choices” campaign for GMO Awareness month. Currently, Andalou Naturals is the only 100% Non-GMO Project Verified Beauty Brand.

When making beauty-related choices, it’s important to know what you are purchasing. It may be helpful to keep this question in mind: “Knowing what chemicals were used to make this product, would I put this IN my body?” If you wouldn’t, then why would you put it ON your body, only to let it be absorbed by your largest organ, your skin?

It’s the old, and not particularly eloquent, adage of garbage in/garbage out, only in reverse.  By feeding your body with natural, Non-GMO products such as Andalou Naturals, and your body creates its own self-perpetuating cycle of healthy living. You’ll find that you’ll look as great as you always have, but you’ll feel better too knowing you did some good for you and the planet.


BHT In Our Foods? Mmmm… Not So Good!

Filed Under: Regulations & Law at 10:57 am | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
2,6-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-methylphenolIt’s been banned in Japan since 1958, yet it’s used in numerous food products throughout the United States.  It lurks in plastic packaging, processed foods and children’s pre-packaged lunches.  You may not even know it’s there, but you should.  It’s an antioxidant food additive, more often termed a preservative in consumer lingo.  It’s BHT, and it’s potentially harmful to unwitting consumers across the continent.

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) can be found in everything from packaged foods and cosmetics down to jet fuel and embalming fluid.  What was that?  Embalming fluid?  At this point, I would say something doesn’t look right.  In Bill Stantham’s What’s in Your Food, he cites potential side effects of BHT as chronic hives, dermatitis, fatigue, asthma, aggressive behavior, bronchospasm, and complications with the stomach, liver, kidneys and reproduction.  It’s not recommended for children and infants, and it is a possible carcinogen.  To make matters worse…it’s toxic to aquatic organisms (Running Press, 2007).  Can you say “one fishy, two fishy…no fishy?”  But of course there should be no worries, as we all know how superb big business is at disposing of waste products, right?

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United States vs. China

Filed Under: Environment,Regulations & Law at 1:38 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
ChinaChina’s waterways are smeared with the dense tint of pollution, their air thick with smog. Chinese women are facing an increased risk of breast cancer.  But it’s not for the reason you think.  The increase of breast cancer in Asian women is associated with the westernization of their diet.  Meat, sugars and all those processed foods are filling many of their plates, rather than the previous consumption of a high vegetable and soy based diet.  Yet, many countries are turning a disapproving eye toward China and their lack of social responsibility when it comes to health and environmental safety issues.  China is recoiling, citing unfair treatment within the world trading system, for once not in reference to the anti-dumping provisions they are often held subject to.

The U.S. FDA is turning away one shipment after another from the environmentally wayward country, and for good reason.  But there is a fine line between naivety and turning a blind eye.  It’s hard to imagine that China has only recently taken to shipping low-quality, sub-standard products to the U.S. and other countries – even harder to imagine that the biggest health and safety crisis in the U.S. lies with the contamination of these products alone.  Thoroughly inspecting imports is only one small, well publicized step in what needs to be made a nationwide awareness of the growing health and safety crisis within the U.S., not to mention worldwide.

We are the same country whose vise president swayed public officials to side step previously mandated endangered species policy, leading to the death of nearly 70000 salmon between California and Oregon in 2002.  Apparently, it’s ok to kill our own fish and leave them floundering along the shore, as long as our irrigation systems are working properly.  And our own FDA has pulled previously approved pharmaceuticals from the shelves, Vioxx and Zelnorm, and increased restrictions on approved drugs such as Avandia and Actos.  Yet the Chinese government has just executed the former director of their State Food and Drug Administration for accepting bribes to approve unsafe and fake drugs.  The last time I checked, Ex-Tyco CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski, Martha Stewart and Enron officials are all alive and kicking; no examples here.  So what are we to do, as we point our most prominent finger at the Chinese suppliers for sending us contaminated goods, from a polluted nation?

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Tobacco: Stretching the Long Arm of the Law

Filed Under: Regulations & Law at 2:56 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
cigarette.jpgSmokers often discover that once you start, it’s a never ending process to quit.  You crave the nicotine and the thousands of other chemical ingredients.  No one can truthfully say that there is anything healthy about smoking.  So why is a bill being considered that would place tobacco products under the regulation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? 

A July 25th article in The Washington Post points out that for several years many officials have been trying to get cigarettes regulated by the FDA, but Bush has been adamant about opposing this plan.  It seems an unlikely situation to ask an organization designed to protect Americans from unhealthy food and drugs to regulate a product with absolutely no health benefits.  Yet, many believe it is a step in the right direction to ensure that tobacco companies do not make their products increasingly more harmful and addictive.

It’s impossible in one fell swoop to eliminate the tobacco industry altogether (a U.S. industry that sells over 370 billion cigarettes per year).  Economics doesn’t support it according to most American lawmakers.  Yet, a steady decline in demand would make a substantial improvement in the detrimental affects of cigarettes overall.  Many are worried that FDA regulation would lead consumers to falsely believe that cigarettes are safe for use.  However, it seems that it is widely known that cigarettes are anything but safe.  But FDA regulation, if effectively handled, could sway the tobacco companies from making their products even more addictive and dangerous than they are already.  If it isn’t feasible to remove tobacco altogether, then we can at least attempt to reign in their exploitation of tobacco consumers.


Botulism in a Can

Filed Under: Regulations & Law at 4:07 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
botulism1.jpgIn the wake of multiple scares associated with contamination of foreign food and personal care product imports, the U.S. is now getting a closer look at how health scares can occur even within our own country.  Despite recent ridicule of the FDA (much of which is valid), they often do a rather stand-up job of protecting consumer safety.  The most recent reference of this being the recall of contaminated 10-ounce cans of hot dog chili sauce, manufactured by Castleberry’s, Austex and Kroger.  These products, with expiration dates of April 30, 2009 through May 22, 2009, may contain the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. 

Clostridium botulinum is the bacterium associated with botulism, a paralytic illness that can often result in death if respiratory failure ensues from the nerve toxin released by the bacterium.  However, most cases of botulism are treatable upon diagnosis, despite the fact that recovery can be a rather lengthy process.  Botulism has not been as large of an issue as it once was because current manufacturing processes are quite thorough with their canning processes, heating foods for long enough and at high enough temperatures to eliminate the bacterium.  However, mistakes do happen.  And it is reassuring to know that this instance of contamination was noted in a timely manner and the recall of the products made public by both the companies themselves and the FDA. 

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Greening the Three R’s

Filed Under: Environment,Regulations & Law at 4:26 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
recycle.jpgYou peruse the store shelves for the perfect vitamin, then stroll over to the pharmacy counter to pick up your prescription.  You have a headache, so you grab a bottle of ibuprofen on your way to the checkout.  You pay the cashier as he tosses all of these items into a plastic bag, and you’re on your way.  One single shopping trip revolves nearly entirely around plastic.  Plastic is great, you say to yourself.  Look how many uses it has.  But in a world that is rapidly accumulating more waste than it can bear, the focus needs to be shifted from single to multiple use. 

But now you’re thinking to yourself that you can recycle everything that you just purchased.  But can you?  And will you?  Just like the plastic bottle tops that have to be removed from soda containers, many prescription and vitamin bottles do not belong in your recycling bin.  A vast majority of these containers are made by a different process than most other plastic materials.  They are more durable, but also require a different melting point than other plastics, and therefore won’t be recycled by a majority of centers.  Check with your local recycling center to see if indeed they do recycle vitamin and pill bottles that come bearing the #1 and #2 markings.

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A Healthy Future for Our Children

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health,Regulations & Law at 1:24 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor is a company concerned about the health and wellness of its customers.  And luckily, there are plenty of others concerned about what’s going on in the world around us as well.  There is plenty of concern in the world community.  Many are irate about environmental concerns that are depriving our children of a safe and healthy future.  Many are upset about money being spent overseas when there is a huge demand for funding within the United States.  Twenty-somethings look forward to years of debt thanks to college loans.  Jobs have become increasingly sedentary in nature.  Food is devoid of nutrients.  Not only is there an increase in percentage of obese adults, but children as well.  It is a time to become active and direct our resources toward areas that will be most beneficial in the long run, especially for our children. 

Fortunately, the federal government will allocate over $1 billion towards school nutritional programs this year alone, most of which Associated Press reviews have found to be…proven failures?  They have brought about nearly no change in the type or amount of food children are consuming on a daily basis.  The programs are in dire need of reform.  So where have our priorities gone?  Why drop money toward failed initiatives?  And how far off the path is the school system in actually meeting the needs of our children?

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What’s Lurking in Your Personal Care Products?

Filed Under: Personal Care,Regulations & Law at 10:31 am | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
lipstick.jpgEach year, billions of dollars are spent developing, marketing and consuming personal care products.  From makeup for your face, cheeks and eyes to lotions that smooth and exfoliate from head to toe, the cosmetic industry stretches far and wide, encompassing everyone in a consumer binge for beauty.   Protecting yourself from harmful ingredients should be a top priority, particularly when a majority of shoppers aren’t aware that the FDA’s realm of authority doesn’t extend as far as most cosmetic products and ingredients.  A majority of the research is done by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIS) , an industry sponsored organization that investigates products for safety.  Though it is supported by the industry, the CIS maintains that they carry out unbiased research on the safety of cosmetic specific ingredients and products.

In recent years, parabens have risen to the top of the health advisory list and continue to be researched further for their possible damaging health effects.  Parabens work to preserve the cosmetic products which we put onto our bodies, but how do these parabens react when absorbed into the body?  The unknown is a potential threat to companies utilizing this ingredient, if and when it is discovered to be too harmful for use.  In fact, most deodorant manufacturers already no longer use parabens in their preservative process, most likely because of studies that found small amounts of this cosmetic preservative in cancerous breast tissue.  No study conclusively shows parabens to be a factor in the development of breast cancer, yet avoiding potentially toxic parabens may be the best idea overall. 

Consumers are becoming more aware of questionable ingredients, brought to them through research and news (see for a list of common questionable ingredients).  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has developed a Skin Deep guide for consumers to shop for the healthiest cosmetic products available on the market.  Perhaps researching products may seem time consuming now, but being aware of ingredients contained in your cosmetics may provide extra years of health in the long run.



Filed Under: Regulations & Law,Supplements at 2:08 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
gmo.jpgIdentify the genetically modified organism (GMO) and win a free prize.  Not really, but you get the picture.  Would you have any idea whether your cotton shirt is made from a GMO?  How about the tomato you’re eating?  Where do we draw the line of determining safety of genetic tampering?  Are you even aware of whether genetically modified food has to be labeled as such in the market?  If you’re looking for no GMOs then you would have to specifically look for products that state that on the label.  Even then, genetically modified crops have already begun to contaminate natural crops.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes could be considered sensational foreshadowing in the unlucky event that one day research proves that ingestion of GMOs can affect our health and cause more harm than good in the genetic long run.  But perhaps our concerns are not valid, and GM food is the wonder technology that so many scientists declare it.  For now, the choice is yours.  When reviewing, type GMO into the search engine and you will be provided with hundreds of products, free from GMOs.

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Sure, Your Products are Safe for You. But What About the Bunnies?

Filed Under: Regulations & Law at 12:46 pm | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
bunny.jpgWhat do you stand for as a consumer?  Are you concerned about products that support sustainable living and organic farming?  Or maybe, as this cute little leaping bunny label indicates, you may wish to purchase products that support animal-free product testing.  No matter what your stance is, there is a company out there that shares your beliefs, and makes sure you know it.  And today we’re focusing on the animal lover in you.  The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics does their absolute best to make you aware of what companies you can look to with trust that their products are absolutely free of animal cruelty.  On a regular basis, this coalition updates their listings of companies that have been CCIC-approved so that you can rest easy that if you purchase a product with the leaping bunny, you are getting a product that does not support testing on animals during any of the production process.  So look before you leap, buy CCIC-approved products and support the animal and the animal lover in you.

Visit and follow their cruelty free guide before purchasing your products from


Hempseed, Friend not Foe

Filed Under: Regulations & Law at 11:57 am | By: Brandi Spade, Senior Editor
hemp1.jpgHey now, this looks promising! But alas, no, it’s not what you think. Turn on some old Willie Nelson tunes and calm your nerves, I’m talking hemp production, not marijuana. It’s a harsh world out there for would-be hemp farmers. The United States banned legalized growing of marijuana back in 1937, including hemp in the deal because of its status as a member of the cannabis sativa family. Though hemp contains miniscule amounts of THC, not even remotely enough to experience the marijuana induced high, DEA officials are reluctant to budge on the matter. Perhaps government officials, along with the general populace, can’t get past their pot prejudice. FYI: Pot and hemp are not the same thing, smoking hemp will produce nothing but smoke, and those supporters of hemp production should not automatically be labeled as potheads. It is rather disconcerting that America is in such a drug craze that a crop providing such bountiful benefits should be banned because of its narcotic cousin. If it’s legal to import hemp, shouldn’t it be legal to grow and export as well? There’s a fine line between fighting the good cause of knocking out drug abuse, and overstepping reasonable boundaries to ban a crop that has seemingly limitless environmental and health benefits.

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