: News

Eco-Labels Proliferate

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

As the economy becomes more green-oriented, eco-labels and certifications have multiplied. There are hundreds of groups certifying appliances or foods for achieving one green standard or another. That may be causing more confusion than clarity.

"OK. I've got a few things in this basket: so we have some Salmon cake bites and they are certified as sustainable seafood by MSC, this is certified fair-trade by somebody, there's a lot of these things, do you pay attention to them?" reporter Sabri Ben-Achour asks.

"I don't tend to pay attention to the things you pointed out on these products because I don't know what they mean or who's doing the certification," says shopper Susan Sarver.

She's identified what some economists say is a growing problem. There are by some estimates 800 different groups offering their stamp of approval for your purchases, says University of Michigan professor Thomas Lyon.

"If consumers don't know what it means, then it's not clear the marketplace will work very well," Lyon says.

It's possible that they might start to consolidate.

"We just don't know yet, will there be consolidation in the market for labels like there is in so many other markets? I think that has to happen," he says.

Until then, there are websites available such as the Ecolabel Index, created by the World Resources Institute, that can help evaluate the different certifications.

NPR

At Food World 'Oscars,' Category Sneakily Redefines All-American Cuisine

Most James Beard awards go to haute cuisine, but one prize recognizes classic neighborhood joints. And increasingly, the winners are immigrants whose cultures haven't yet dissolved in the melting pot.
NPR

At Food World 'Oscars,' Category Sneakily Redefines All-American Cuisine

Most James Beard awards go to haute cuisine, but one prize recognizes classic neighborhood joints. And increasingly, the winners are immigrants whose cultures haven't yet dissolved in the melting pot.
WAMU 88.5

D.C.'s 17-Year-Old Charitable Trust Bankrupts

The DC Trust has declared bankruptcy leaving over 70 groups that rely on their funding with questions about what went wrong and what happens next.

WAMU 88.5

Local D.C. STEM Careers Are Soaring - But For Whom?

Kojo explores the local state of diversity in STEM with educators who are looking to change it and a journalist who's been tracking it.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.