Creating Order Amidst Food Eco-Label Chaos

31 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015

See all articles by Jason J. Czarnezki

Jason J. Czarnezki

Pace University - School of Law

Andrew Homan


Meghan Jeans

Vermont Law School

Date Written: September 8, 2015


Eco-labels, certifications, and seals of approval serve a variety of functions including communicating to businesses and consumers the environmental attributes of a particular product and incentivizing improvements in production. Eco-labels also provide a basis for companies to set measurable sustainability goals for sourcing, improvements, and transparency. As they gain greater traction in the marketplace, however, there has been a massive proliferation of labels, certifications, and green seals of approval. This has led to consumer confusion, inaccurate and misleading claims, and inconsistent standards.

This Article attempts to find order amidst the chaos of food ecolabels. Part II explores three basic types of eco-labels for food: firstparty, third-party, and those created and/or required by the federal and state governments. Part III discusses government regulation and restrictions on labeling. Part IV addresses both sides of the issue by (i) offering proposals for regulatory reform in order to improve the clarity, consistency, and credibility of green claims for food products; and (ii) giving suggestions to the industry to promote more transparency, accountability, and meaning among green marketing claims.

Keywords: eco-label, food

Suggested Citation

Czarnezki, Jason J. and Homan, Andrew and Jeans, Meghan, Creating Order Amidst Food Eco-Label Chaos (September 8, 2015). Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, Vol. 35, 2015, Available at SSRN:

Jason J. Czarnezki (Contact Author)

Pace University - School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States

Andrew Homan

Independent ( email )

Meghan Jeans

Vermont Law School

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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