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Benjamin Moore Natura Paint No Emissions and No VOCs FTC Action

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an administrative complaint against Benjamin Moore & Co. (BMC) alleging that it makes unsupported claims about its Natura paint.

Specifically, it alleges that BMC advertises Natura as having “zero VOC and zero emissions.” VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are carbon-containing compounds. The FTC asserts that all paints emit chemicals while being painted on and while drying and that BMC does not qualify its claims, for example, by stating that the paint emits no VOCs after a certain number of hours.

The complaint cites a commercial which features a group of painters entering a room where a baby is sleeping. The painters paint a mural on one wall, then silently leave. The baby wakes up and is delighted at the mural. Meanwhile, the voiceover says, “If you want a paint with no harsh fumes; if you want a paint without harmful chemicals; if you want a paint that is safer for your family and the environment, only this can. Natura by Benjamin Moore.” The action suggests that it’s safe for the baby to be exposed to the paint while it’s being applied and immediately after as it dries.

A print ad reproduced in the complaint proclaims, “Natura is green without compromise. With zero VOCs, zero emissions and no harsh fumes, Natura can have a positive impact on air quality.” Another part of the ad suggests that the paint is “asthma & allergy friendly.”

The complaint lists four unsubstantiated claims made by BMC’s advertising and promotional materials:

  • Natura paints have no emissions.
  • Natura paints have no emissions during and directly after application.
  • Natura paints will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, that are harmful to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies, asthmatics, and allergy sufferers.
  • Natura paints will not emit any chemical or substance, including VOCs, during and directly after application, that are harmful to consumers, including sensitive populations such as babies, asthmatics, and allergy sufferers.

It says that BMC cannot make these claims unless it has tests proving that the paint contents and emissions are truly zero or only found in trace amounts. BMC also cannot make claims about fumes, environmental benefits, or other matters unless it has reliable scientific material to back them up.

Another problem the FTC cites is the “Green Promise Seal,” depicting a hand and a leaf logo with the words “green promise” which is found on cans of Natura paint. The FTC claims that this marking gives the impression that a third-party group has given the paint an award, when actually BMC has invented the seal and bestowed it on itself. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Benjamin Moore Natura Paint No Emissions and No VOCs FTC Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an administrative complaint against Benjamin Moore & Co. (BMC) alleging that it makes unsupported claims about its Natura paint.

Specifically, it alleges that BMC advertises Natura as having “zero VOC and zero emissions” and implies that it is safe for babies and other vulnerable populations, even during and directly after application, even though these claims are not supported by tests or scientific evidence. Another problem the FTC cites is the “Green Promise Seal” found on cans of Natura paint. The FTC claims that this marking gives the impression that a third-party group has given the paint an award, when actually BMC has invented the seal and bestowed it on itself.

benjamin_moore_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Benjamin Moore Natura Paint No Emissions and No VOCs FTC Complaint

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an administrative complaint against Benjamin Moore & Co. (BMC) alleging that it makes unsupported claims about its Natura paint.

Specifically, it alleges that BMC advertises Natura as having “zero VOC and zero emissions” and implies that it is safe for babies and other vulnerable populations, even during and directly after application, even though these claims are not supported by tests or scientific evidence. Another problem the FTC cites is the “Green Promise Seal” found on cans of Natura paint. The FTC claims that this marking gives the impression that a third-party group has given the paint an award, when actually BMC has invented the seal and bestowed it on itself.

benjamin_moore_complaint.pdf

Benjamin Moore Natura Paint No Emissions and No VOCs FTC Consent Order

The consent order for this FTC action says that BMC cannot make claims about VOCs, emissions, and other matters unless it has tests proving that the paint contents and emissions are truly zero or only found in trace amounts. BMC also cannot make claims about fumes, environmental benefits, or other matters unless it has reliable scientific material to back them up.

benjamin_moore_agreement_and_decision_and_order.pdf
Tags: Claims Unsupported By Scientific Evidence, Paint, Safe Items Not Really Safe, Your Home