Class Action Lawsuits Highlight Importance of Independently Certified Aloe Vera in Products
Recent class action lawsuits for aloe vera products have many retailers rethinking the importance of independent third-party certification for the products that they sell. Starting in 2016, consumers in multiple states brought class action lawsuits against retailers marketing aloe vera products. According to these lawsuits, when plaintiffs had the products tested, results showed they contained no trace of acetylated mannan (acemannan), the polysaccharide component of aloe vera that is used to authenticate this botanical species. If a consumer product contains no acemannan, the product cannot be confirmed to contain aloe vera.
With testing laboratories and procedures becoming less costly and more widely available to today’s average consumers and law firms, manufacturers and retailers should expect these types of lawsuits to continue. While large national retailers may have the resources to meet and overcome these costly and time-consuming legal challenges, they still suffer the negative effects of adverse publicity and loss of consumer confidence.
Is your company’s reputation among consumers important to you? Are you concerned about the quality and authenticity of the ingredients used in the products you sell? In this era of social media and online reviews, have you taken steps to protect yourself? The International Aloe Science Council (IASC) certification program for aloe raw materials and finished products provides a means for retailers to demonstrate their commitment to supplying quality products that meet the expectations of their customers.
Retailers can reduce the risk of such lawsuits and more importantly, the negative impact to their reputations by specifying that the manufacturers of their aloe vera products use only aloe vera that has been certified by the IASC. This ensures the products you sell contain authentic aloe vera instead of substandard material. Manufacturers may try to save a few dollars by buying the cheapest aloe vera raw material, but this increases your risk that the product may become the target of a lawsuit claiming deceptive business practices.
IASC is a not-for-profit association founded in 1980 to protect consumers of aloe vera and aloe vera-based products from adulteration and products falsely labeled as containing aloe vera. The IASC developed its certification programs so the aloe industry can submit their facilities and products to an independent audit and testing program. Companies who display the IASC Certification Seal on their products and in their literature are assuring their customers that the aloe vera used is pure and meets the quality standards of the IASC.
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