The European Parliament Approves Directive Regulating the Labeling of Organic Products

Wyrok TSUE frankowicze

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Greenwashing?
  2. When can the labeling of products as organic, environmentally neutral, etc., be considered an unfair market practice?

The European Parliament has approved the adoption of the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council amending Directives 2005/29/EC and 2011/83/EU regarding strengthening consumer protection in the ecological transition through better information and protection against unfair practices.

What is Greenwashing?

The term “greenwashing” is often translated into Polish as “ekościema,” “zielone mydlenie oczu,” or “zielone kłamstwo.” It refers to the practice of misleading consumers who are seeking products made according to ecological and environmental principles into believing that a particular product or the company producing it is environmentally friendly and in harmony with nature.

When can the labeling of products as organic, environmentally neutral, etc., be considered an unfair market practice?

The EU legislator will consider false information about the environmental or social impact of a company or product, as well as inaccurate information about the durability or repairability of a product, as misleading commercial practices under Article 6 of Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices.

Complementing this, a new addition to paragraph 2 of Article 6 of Directive 2005/29/EC states that a commercial practice is misleading if it involves:

  • Making claims about environmental friendliness related to future environmental performance without clear, objective, and verifiable commitments or targets and without an independent monitoring system.
  • Advertising consumer benefits that are considered common practice in the relevant market.

Jak przebiega procedura uproszczona połączenia spółek?

Providing information about environmental friendliness will not be considered an unfair practice if it is supported by clear, objective, and verifiable commitments and targets provided by the company. These claims must also be backed by an independent monitoring system to track the company’s progress in meeting these commitments and targets.

Regarding the second element of what could constitute an unfair practice, a broader explanation indicates a prohibition on informing about the absence of a particular substance in a product if its absence is common market practice. Informing about such an absence as a distinguishing factor of the product may constitute an unfair market practice.