You purchase a CBD product from a company named CBD Organics. You paid a little extra for an organic product but it's all good because you know that hemp is known for it's bioremediation properties because it pulls toxins out of the soil like crazy. Better to spend a few extra pennies to get a product made from organic hemp plants, right?
We're sorry to tell you, if you didn't catch on to the scam in the above paragraph, you may have been taken for a ride. This scam is hard to spot for the average consumer and we only know about it because we've been a USDA certified organic manufacturer for over 10 years. Here's how it works.
When a company wants to sell an organic product, in order to bear the USDA organic seal, they must go through a lengthy and expensive process of getting that product certified. And that's the catch. Only a product can be certified organic, not a company. A lot of companies exploit this loophole by selecting a company name that has the word "organic" in it, thereby leaving unsuspecting customers with the impression that their products are organic. In reality, it's a sneaky way of getting the word "organic" on the label without having to actually make any organic products!
There's only one way to tell. Does the product itself have the USDA organic seal on it? If it doesn't, the company is purposefully misleading you. You'll notice if you look closely that they may talk about a particular organic ingredient in their product or play up the fact that the product is derived from organic hemp. That may be the truth (or it may not be) but even if some ingredients are organic or if the product was derived from an organic raw material, that does not make the finished good organic. There are no standards, requirements or laws about using the word organic in a company name. It can mean anything a company wants it to mean and rarely does it mean the same thing that the USDA means when it uses the word "organic."
Check it out for yourself. Can you tell which of these companies are the real deal?
Example 1: Himiko Organics
Example 2: Joy Organics
Example 3: Kai's Organics
We'd be guilty of a lack of transparency ourselves if we didn't point out the fact that the third company on the above list is actually our sister CBD company, Kai's Organics. In case you couldn't tell, we have the word "organic" in our name, but our products are also actually certified USDA organic and bear the organic seal. We also go one step further and offer extensive, third party test results to show our customers that our products actually contain what we say they do.
Another very effective technique we've seen unscrupulous companies use to leave the impression that they are organic is to get other people to do the lying for them. Here's how the scam works.
A company that directly lies on its own website is likely to, sooner or later, get into trouble with the USDA. However, if other, smaller websites are the ones falsely claiming the company is organic, it's unlikely anyone will be directly held accountable. A lot of companies will exploit this by using affiliate marketers to do their dirty work for them.
One company successfully used this strategy to position themselves as one of our main competitors in the organic vape juice industry. They put out false information to their affiliates. Small bloggers and websites picked up that info and posted it on their own websites pointing back to the main company site. The affiliates earned a commission on sales that came through their websites and the company created a false internet presence that fooled Google into positioning the company in search results as if it were an organic manufacturer. If you do an internet search for "organic vapes," this company pops up right next to ours.
The only problem was, there is not a single thing about this company's products that is organic--no organic ingredients, no organic certification, no organic manufacturing practices. It is all a lie. But you'd have to dig deeply into the company's FAQ pages to find that out so most consumers can't tell the difference. To this day, this company continues to siphon customers away from us while not being burdened with the high costs of actually paying for high quality organic ingredients or USDA organic certification.
Are we bitter? No. ...Well, maybe a little! But not enough to publicly shame them by printing their name here. We may disapprove of their cheating, lying ways, but, hey, we're a classy company and we leave the tattle tailing to others! We will, however, call out the scam so that hopefully, in future, fewer unsuspecting customers will get taken for the proverbial ride.
Keep an eye out for these scams so that when you shop organic and pay organic prices, you actually get an organic product!
If you want to know more, learn about what it takes to make an organic product.