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Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
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Empty Words

The descriptions used to establish a brand's eco-cred are often more meaningless than deceiving. Beware these common terms—they're neither government-regulated nor third-party certified.

FOOD
º GMO-free
º Hormone-free
º rBGH-free
º rBST-free
º Antibiotic-free
º Chemical-free
º Grass-fed
º Vegan
COSMETICS
º All-natural
º Cruelty-free
º Paraben-free
GENERAL
º Biodegradable
º Nontoxic
º Eco-safe
DECEPTIVE TERMS
º CFC-free (CFCs have been illegal since 1996)
º Cage-free/free-range (the USDA does define this, but only for chickens, and farms are permitted to use this wording if they let their chickens out for as little as five minutes per day)

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