EppsNet Archive: Natural Products

‘Natural’ Product Claims Can Be Murky

Whole Foods Markets Inc. last fall started selling a new brand of laundry detergent called Nature’s Power, whose green bottle claims the product is made “with plant-derived soaps.” Its top active ingredient, a commonly used cleaning agent called sodium laureth sulfate, is found in plenty of its mainstream peers, including Arm & Hammer, which like Nature’s Power is made by Church & Dwight Co. Sodium laureth sulfate can be produced from coconut oil, palm oil or petroleum. “It is the same chemical compound, regardless of what it’s derived from,” says Clarence Miller, a professor emeritus of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University in Houston. A Church & Dwight spokesman said the sodium laureth sulfate in Nature’s Power “is plant-based and not the same” as the sodium laureth sulfate found in Arm & Hammer. Whole Foods declined to comment. — WSJ Let’s also note that in addition to being made… Read more →