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Blatant Deception: Organics™ Shampoo for Normal Hair

by Anthea Torr, Trevor Steyn

FILED IN: Blatant Deception · Health and Food · Issue 16

A simple bottle of shampoo… a true reflection of the state of our society and culture, and our way of life! On the shelves of most of our major retailers is the Organics™ range of shampoos made by Unilever, the third biggest company in the UK (only BP and Shell are bigger).

They are cleverly packaged in a green bottle, and will con any ignorant, unsuspecting consumer that has not done their homework into thinking that they are buying a harmless ‘organic’ shampoo which will be good for them and their family, and probably the environment as well!
Little do they know that this so called “Organic (s)” shampoo is filled with a cocktail of chemicals that should you decide to drink it, a trip to the doctor, without any stops on the way would probably be essential!

This product is not organic; in fact there is not one organic ingredient in it. Some of the ingredients are on the ‘carcinogenic’ list of most of the independent research companies that are not funded by large unscrupulous corporations, who have nothing other than money in mind. It is all about “profit before people, planet and animals”.

They are a shameful bunch and it is the ethos of greed, competition, power and ‘more is never enough’ that has got us into the devastating the state we are in. It is time for these large bullies to become accountable and start acting with integrity and honesty. Disease is epidemic amongst the old and the young, our wildlife is threatened with extinction becoming an every day occurrence and our planet is in crisis. It is also time for the public to get out of their comfortable ‘autopilot’ mode and make informed conscious choices and educate themselves.

The commercial world has managed to persuade us to pay a handsome price for a bottle of ‘poisonous detergent’ that we are being conned into believing by their clever advertising and marketing will make us sexier, more beautiful, healthier, cleverer or what ever else they can conjure up to make us buy it and believe that it is good for us.

In fact, the word shampoo comes from the Hindi word chapo, meaning to massage or knead. A far cry from the harsh foaming mixtures we call now call ‘shampoos’. The first ‘soapy’ shampoos were simple solutions of basic soap made from vegetable oil and were invented by British hairdressers during the heyday of the empire.

But like most things in our commercially driven materialistic lifestyles it is far removed from the original intention and there is very little integrity or honestly attached.

The irony of it all is that we don’t even need to wash our hair! If the body is balanced and the skin healthy the natural oils of the body and the microscopic bacteria on all skin will clean it naturally, just look at animals, especially in the wild, and even our domesticated ones and see how beautiful their fur is when left alone and their diet is good and natural.

Listed ingredients for Organics™ Shampoo for Normal Hair

The shampoo is meant to include clove oil, but we cannot find it listed in the ingredients!

Aqua water
Cocomidopropyl betaine a strong detergent – not organic
Sodium laureth sulphate surfactant, banned by all major organic certifiers. This cleaning agent can also contain carcinogen 1,4 dioxane.
Lysine hci amino acid
Cetmonium chloride conditioning agent banned by organic certification bodies
Trideceth 12 banned by organic certification bodies
Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane banned by organic certification bodies
Sodium acetate
Dimethiconol banned by organic certification bodies
Tea-dedecybenenesulfonate emollient banned by organic certification bodies
Mica banned by organic certification bodies
Guar hydroxypopyltrimonium chloride banned by organic certification bodies
Carbomer a synthetic gelling agent used to thicken, stabilize and promote the shelf life of the product. It can be irritating to skin and eyes. Banned by organic certification bodies
Sodium chloride table salt
Sodium hydroxide caustic soda. Ph adjuster
Teltasodium edta banned by organic certification bodies
Parfum petrochemically derived with undiscolsed ingredients banned by organic certification bodies
Formaldehyde a preservative and suspected carcinogen, causes respiratory irritation banned by organic certification bodies
Sodium benzoate preservative
Benzyl salicylate preservative
Citronellol essential oil component
Geraniol essential oil component
Limonene essential oil component
Linalool essential oil component

This is outright fraudulent misrepresentation!


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  1. How silly! “…should you decide to drink it, a trip to the doctor, without any stops on the way would probably be essential!”
    What a silly comment in an even sillier article. Who would drink shampoo? Why would you even mention this?
    I don’t enjoy reading sensationalist claptrap like this, and I think you’re very silly to think that such a large company would even think of knowingly putting out a product which is harmful.

    Comment by Bev

  2. Dear Bev
    You really must be incredibly naive and stupid to think that a large company would not knowingly put out a product that is harmful. The pharmaceutical companies have put numerous products onto the market that are harmful (clinical trials can be “bent”). I suggest you do some homework - the internet is a great place to start on this industry alone. Then we come to consumer goods.
    There are hundred of products lining the aisles of your supermarket that are detrimental to your health and that of your family and extremely toxic to the environment. Unfortunately space doesn’t allow me to go into this here but you would be very, very surprised. Inform yourself and certainly do not believe in the benevolence of the business world. Really!

    Comment by Michelle

  3. Bev is the silly one here. Whether one drinks the stuff or not, it’s blatantly disgusting to market a product as organic when it clearly is not. I agree with Michelle, Bev must be really stupid and ignorant; otherwise she’s an apologist or representative from the “Organics” company.

    Comment by Clay

  4. Thanks for calling me stupid and naive, Michelle… has any company (especially in litigious America)got away with selling consumers a harmful product? Could you perhaps name a single product which has caused harm and which a company has got away with?
    Is it not, in fact, the case that companies (especially in the USA and EU) have to be EXTREMELY careful that they aren’t sued, and often overstate the cautions/warnings on their products?

    And, Clay, the product is NOT being marketed as “organic”. It’s clearly, obviously “Organics™”. Only a fool would be fooled into thinking the product was claiming to be organic.

    Comment by Bev

  5. Hi bev
    sorry for the long wait in replying. you are right it is not fair to call anyone stupid. my apologies. i do get the point you are trying to make. but let me just add this though. big business is not about ethical activity. the key objective is profit maximisation. of course no company would put a product onto the market that will evidently and overtly kill or harm the consumer. but they do put manufacture goods that longterm are extremely dangerous and detrimental to everyones health and welfare. one only has to look at household cleaning products, health care products. food additives and many more to realise this. i have a friend who works with product flavourants and preservatives for the food industry. these are totally synthetic and highly toxic (in certain amounts). but the consumer doesn’t know this. and the state health regulations are certainly not strict enough to protect the consumer.
    so much to write on this issue. just know that big business will do anything to get the most “value for shareholders” and if that means compromising on the consumers long term health then so be it.

    Comment by michelle

  6. bev, i agree that it’s not nice to call anyone naive and stupid. but in your case, it may be absolutely unavoidable.

    have you heard of a little US company called coca-cola?

    how about simba? shell? rainbow chickens? nestle?

    the list is really, really long.

    do you imagine these corporate giants hold your personal well-being above all else? never worked for one, have you? do you think people who own a kfc franchise would ever, EVER, eat there? or even better, allow their children to.. No way. Never.

    About “Organics” shampoo you say: “Only a fool would be fooled into thinking the product was claiming to be organic.” Good grief girl. I can’t think of a single reply to that!

    Give it another thought is all I’m saying!

    Comment by jan

  7. Oh my so…..it seems the more I read the more I see that, ironically the community on this, a pro-earth, pro postive living site are amongst the most intolerant I’ve seen.

    I agree - yes, some (but surely not many) could be fooled into thinking that Organics with it’s pics of lovely flowers and herbs is an organic product, and yes, shampoos with all the chemicals are probably not the best thing for our health, rivers (we flush it out the drain no?) etc

    But on the other hand, whilst the ideal of never washing my hair is nice (I shaved it once that was cool - seldom needed washing LOL) it’s unlikely to be adopted en masse (I try to use hemp shampoo but have been known to bend my rules)

    However, sorry Bev, it’s a known FACT that large organisations INCLUDING the FDA have been involved in cover ups and blatant lies to hide the fact that what they are selling is harmful

    I’m not saying its ALL a huge conspiracy I’m just pointing out (Thalomide, Aspartamine, Coca Cola, McD, leaded petrol) that profit is the first motivator, followed by public opinion. It is only when the public demands better healthier more ethical products and use their cash to show how they feel that manufacturers generally give two hoots.

    By the same token one can become extremely sick sucking on a bottle of purely ORGANIC shampoo too!

    Balance guys, balance and tolerance

    Comment by Dot

  8. Dot - I couldn’t agree with you more. It is sad to see such mud slinging on such a positive website, however I can surely understand the passion behind the statements. People people, the FACTS prove themselves. As for drinking shampoo - many children have been known to do many silly things on many occasions - having JIK in your kitchen or shampoo in your shower … accidents happen. As for BEV, I’m curious (as we all have bad days) if you weren’t just lashing out - the FACTS show the chemicals are there! As for everything else, educate yourself on what the actual chemical does, realize that the skin 9the bodies largest organ) absorbs X amount of these toxins … yes yes everything in moderation, but add the shampoo to the soap, then add the cream, then add the deo etc etc etc Somewhere something is going to give, and sadly it usually starts showing up in ways that we don’t think anything else other than our immune system must be low … funny.

    Comment by Louise

  9. As consumers it is our duty to educate ourselves on what is harmful or not. Ignorance is not an excuse and I find it sad that many so called ‘educated’ adults believe that big business is concerned with what is best for their consumers. The bottom line is market dominance and profitability.

    If companies told us the truth about the ingredients in their products, we wouldn’t buy them. And they would go out of business. There are many tricks, loopholes and ways to get around selling products that are harmful. These companies know them all. And if we, as consumers really believe that all these thousands - no, millions - of products that are advertised on TV, radio, magazines, internet are ‘just what we need’ or ‘in our best interests’, then we are truly dumb creatures.

    Think first before buying - read the label. Chemicals are not good. Whether we use them externally or internally, we are damaging something. It is not easy to make the right choices as a consumer, but we all need to try that little bit harder. Our planet is incredibly beautiful and so are our loved ones - our husbands, wives, children, parents, friends - let’s make the right choices for all.

    Comment by Kim

  10. [...] a similar situation applies in South Africa. Biophile magazine last year exposed Unilever’s ‘Organics’ brand as being nothing of the sort, rather containing most of the usual chemical [...]

    Pingback by Ethical Co-op » Blog Archive

  11. Comment to Bev, on her question:

    “has any company (especially in litigious America)got away with selling consumers a harmful product?”

    Well, how can you prove someone sold dangerous products and got away with it, if they did get away with it?

    Your argument is completely circular: Either they got chastised, which is when you recognize that they did sell something dangerous BUT say ‘look they got officially caught’, OR say ‘they never got processed for anything, which means they did not sell anything dangerous’- because there is no legal proof that they did any wrong (the definition of getting away with it)

    Of course there are zillions of examples of dangerous and or alleguedely dangerous samples… Never mind McDonalds being shown to turn your liver into pate, how about ‘the pill’ when it first came out and babies were coming out deformed? Or cigarettes (when they were promoted with slogans such as “more doctors smoke camel”?)
    What about the fact that mandrax used to be sold as prescription medicine? And I know this cause my grandfather used to be a doctor and still had prescriptions pills left in his cabinet a couple of years ago! They were left over after mandrax was banned as a prescription drug.

    Comment by Mica

  12. As I Hairdresser I have begun re educating myself with regards to the products i use. The scalp and feet are the most porous parts of your body so if you need to do that new color try to opt for foil of cap highlights, avoiding the direct contact from chemicals with your scalp.

    For anyone who is interested I just found this site, there are lots more out there if you look you can find lots more companies like this also check out your local health food store.


    Comment by Kelly Kitson

  13. My cousin used Pantene (very similar ingredients)for years, and lost nearly all his hair. Dr told him to stop using it and he switched to milder brands. His hair is growing back slowly, but has a different texture. The general cocktail is damaging to your scalp - and that is just what we can observe with the naked eye. When I met my husband he was using organics. I put a stop to that and his eczema stopped, never to return again! My Granny always avoided anything she could not pronounce (and she only had a grade 7) she had beautiful thick black hair till the age of 70 and only went grey at around 65. She avoided petrochemicals, flouride, preservatives etc and did yoga - pretty forward thinking old dame who was wise beyond her generation. I am so grateful to her gut instinct and common sense. so many of her “oddities” have been scientifically proven accurate over the last few years. Information is power.

    Comment by becky

  14. I believe you Bev, people out there r unhandedly packaging things for profit.

    I have reakised that after years of using Organics shampoo I have developed an allergy to it. Dry head - painful, lumps/pimples, dizziness and headaches, my heart speeds up a bit etc. Yesterday i used Heads and shoulders shampoo and hoping for teh best.

    Comment by Vanya

  15. These companies use whatever ingredients they can which will maximise profits and minimise costs. If any of these ingrediants are proven to be harmful, and hence banned, said company wil claim ignorance and prehaps pay a fine. Especially in the US where lobbyists essentially rule by means of bribery.

    There is a great deal of evidence that Propylparaben and Methylparaben are carcinogenic, and though they are not present in the ingredients of Organics they are present in most other shampoos, body washes, creams etc etc etc. Does that not constitute knowingly selling harmfull products?

    Benevolence and Big Business do not share the same head-space.

    Comment by andrew

  16. My friend on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed at all that I came to your blog.

    Comment by Pirsey

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