Monthly Guest Blog:  Therese Kerr
23 Dec

Monthly Guest Blog: Therese Kerr

Meet Therese Kerr mum of Miranda and Matthew Kerr, a Visionary, Public Speaker, Author and advocate for holistic family health, through her websites: www.thereseker.com and www.divinebytheresekerr.com Therese freely shares her knowledge, runs life-changing empowerment programs and engages health and wellness practitioners, healthy chefs and medical doctors alike in sharing information on all aspects of health and wellness. Through Divine By Therese Kerr; Therese’s certified organic personal care line, Therese offers products that compliment her daughter, Miranda Kerr’s, KORA Organics certified organic skincare range. The intent of the family is to provide certified organic goodness in all aspects to the world.

Therese is passionate about educating people to make positive changes to their health, in particular implementing Certified Organic Products into our everyday life. Find out why …

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Part 1

Did you know that there is a huge misrepresentation in society as to the use of the word “Organic”? A company can claim something is “organic” if it contains one “natural” ingredient, yet it may contain hundreds of the 10,500 chemicals commonly used in skin, personal, beauty and hair care products. Did you also know that according to the EWG (Environmental Working Group) over the last 30 years, only 13% of these 10,500 chemicals have ever been tested for safety?

Our skin is said to absorb chemicals up to 10 times faster than by way of ingestion and that is because our skin simply doesn’t have the digestive enzymes to break down the chemicals that our digestive system has available to it. The average woman puts over 200+ chemicals a day on her skin of which 65-70% is being absorbed by the body… scary stuff.

Fragrance is one of the most toxic things a woman can put directly on her skin and just about all personal, skin and hair care products not only contain the standard nasty ingredients like TEA’s, DEA’s, Parabens, Sulfates, Glycols, Artificial, Synthetic, GMO ingredients, Nano particles, Ethoxylates, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde derivatives just to name a few…., they also contain fragrance.

The purpose of this article is to clear up some common misconceptions surrounding the use of the word “Organic” and to provide you with a thorough understanding as to what the true meaning of “organic” is.

Certified Organic is what “organic” truly is and you will understand why once you read the information contained in the rest of this document and in Part 2 of “Why Certified”. Certified Organic is the consumers’ only guarantee that what they are buying is chemical, pesticide, insecticide etc. free. Until such time as the law changes and companies are prosecuted for misrepresenting the term “organic”, consumers need to be vigilant in their choices.

It is important to understand that Certified Organic provides traceability from soil preparation, pre-planting of the ingredients contained in the products and ultimately every process through to dispatch of the products from the warehouse. Even the packaging used in any certified organic product is governed and requires approval by the certification body. The emphasis with certification is always on consumer safety and protection of our environment.

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Here’s some information that will assist you in making the right choices for you and your family:

Organic vs. Non Organic – are we being deceived by the labels on our self care (skin, personal, hair and beauty) products?

It is hard to imagine that beauty or self-care products could be poisonous, particularly when the label refers to “organic”, “pure” or “safe”. The reality is that unless you read the ingredient label, understand organic certification and consider the packaging you really don’t know what you are putting on your skin and in your body by way of absorption through the skin.
Did you know that you can absorb MORE toxins from personal, skin and hair care products than Food?

Your skin is your largest organ in your body – and also the thinnest. Less than 1/10th of an inch separates your body from potential toxins. Worse yet, your skin is highly permeable. Just about anything you put on your skin will end up in your bloodstream, and will be distributed throughout your body.

Putting chemicals on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.

Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. When you add up daily exposure over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to an untold amount of chemical exposures.1

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So, why all the fuss?

There exists a common misconception in relation to the use of the word “Organic”. Currently in Australia and mostly across the world there is little regulation surrounding the use of the word “Organic” yet the mere use of the word implies “natural” “safe” “pure” and “pesticide and chemical-free.” Companies can, and do mislead customers.

Organic as partly defined by the Oxford Dictionary2 means:
adjective

1 relating to or derived from living matter: organic soils


Chemistry relating to or denoting compounds containing carbon (other than simple binary compounds and salts) and chiefly or ultimately of biological origin. Compare with inorganic.

2 (of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals:organic farming
organic meat.

noun
(usually organics)

1 a food produced by organic farming.

2 an organic chemical compound.1

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The everyday “Organic” products commonly found on the supermarket shelves are far from “organic”, “natural”, “safe” “pure” and “pesticide and chemical-free”.

The occurrence in the misuse of the word “Organic” sadly does not just relate to self-care products, but rather to any products that can in fact be marketed to a mostly unsuspecting audience. “Organic” cleaning, food, clothing and personal hygiene products are often mistaken by consumers genuinely wanting to purchase “safer options”.2

Supply always meets demand and while the majority of consumers remain uneducated as to what “Organic” truly means, companies will continue to produce inappropriate and misleading products, and why wouldn’t they? Profit is the driver in most businesses and the ingredient and manufacturing costs of producing chemical-based products are far less than the cost of producing “Certified Organic” ones. Consumers are driven predominantly by price and companies will position their product accordingly to ensure maximum uptake within the market.

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How do we break the cycle and make companies accountable for their labeling?

Education is the key to empowering consumers.

Consumers need to arm themselves with the knowledge required to make informed choices and if necessary to make complaints to the ACCC when they feel a company, by way of their labeling, has deceived them. The challenge is that currently the majority of consumers aren’t even aware they are being deceived. It is only through education that consumers will gain an understanding of what “Organic” truly is and become present to the level of deception within the market place.

Who regulates what in Australia?

The subject of mislabeling has been on the agenda of the ACCC in Australia with a recent finding against numerous water companies making “Organic” claims3. This is a positive step in the right direction for the “Organic” industry, however, we still have a long way to go to rid our shelves of deceptive marketing.

The below is an excerpt from the ACCC website which states:4

“Organic claims: Consumers purchasing organic products should be able to feel confident that the ingredients are in fact organic. Misleading, false or deceptive organic claims are against the law”.

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What is an organic claim?

An organic claim is any claim that describes a product as organic, or the ingredients used to make a product as organic. For example ‘100% organic’, ‘made using organic ingredients’ or ‘certified organic’.

Products labelled as organic generally attract a premium price compared to those produced using artificial fertiliser, chemicals or pesticides and non-essential food additives or processing aids. Businesses that make organic claims must be able to substantiate those claims.

Organic product standards

There is a voluntary Australian standard for growers and manufacturers wishing to label their products ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ (AS 6000–2009). This standard is a useful reference point when determining whether a product is organic.

‘Certified’ products

Many products carry a symbol, logo or other trade mark to show that they are certified organic. This certification is provided by various private bodies and the minimum standards required to get certification may vary.

A business that labels its product as certified organic must ensure that its product is actually certified.

All organic claims, whether they reference a standard or not, should be able to be substantiated. If a business claims to meet a particular standard, it must ensure that this claim is true.”4

Although the ACCC lists the above information clearly on its website and the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA)4 governs the labeling requirements that companies must adhere to when labeling their products, the onus for reporting such misleading or deceptive labeling of products falls predominantly on the shoulders of an uneducated consumer market.

The catch 22 situation is that the majority of consumers, i.e. those not ofay with the true meaning of what “organic” really is, are unaware of any possible label deception and as such continue to use products they think are the “Organic” healthy alternatives.

Thankfully, there is a growing interest in organics and especially in certified organic. The trend in wellness appears to be gaining momentum, Farmers markets are becoming more common place, wellness websites are offering advice (most based on an individuals personal wellness journey), Organic healthy megastores and Eateries are opening (Wray Organics, About Life, The Natural Foodstore, Paleo’s Cafes), magazines such as Wellbeing share much needed health and wellness information regularly, and Health Centres offering a holistic approach to wellness (Chiropractic, Nutrition, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Kinesiology, Reflexology, Massage, Yoga, Mediation and Pilates) are appearing instead of the traditional one Natural Therapy modality practices that have until recently been the predominant model for alternative health care.

Health happens by choice, not by accident, it really is that simple.

To read Part 2 of Why Certified Organic click here!

You can also visit my wellness website at www.theresekerr.com and find out more about my health programs and educate yourself as to all things health through the blog posts on my website.

Enjoy getting healthy beautiful people.

If you want to eliminate nasty chemicals from your personal care products try the beautiful Certified Organic range Divine by Therese Kerr  …

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