Credential Analysis

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UL Environment Sustainability Certification

The process of applying for certification or credentialing for a product that is aimed at pets or children is by submitting an online form accessible on the UL Environment web page. Zero products are eligible for the UL Environment certification.


Application Process

  • The first step of the application process is submitting a product to UL by completing a request form found on their website. A product should be submitted as early as possible during its development.
  • Once UL reviews the product information to determine the full scope of the investigation, UL will work with the client in determining the time frame for testing and certification.
  • The company then asks for test samples, and sometimes a visit to the manufacturer.
  • UL then sends a cost estimate, which is the amount based on the client's UL credit status and the fixed project price.
  • Once the client deposits, it can access a copy of the inspection report by contacting the Customer Experience Center.

Examples of Brands and Products with UL Environment Sustainability Certification

Zevo's Products Eligibility

  • The products can qualify for the UL Environment sustainability certification since it has features that don't exist in other products. It does not pose a danger to the user and is covered by an existing brand, like Procter & Gamble.
  • Based on evaluation products and materials, the product can qualify for Chemical Emissions Product Testing to "determine their impact on indoor air quality and, by extension, environmental health."
  • Chemical Policy Management. This service entails the "management of sustainability and environment, health and safety aspects of products along the supply chain, from raw materials to finished goods."
  • Environmental claim validations provide "independent verification that products live up to their marketing claims."
  • Bio-based Product Content Validation. UL Environment validates "the content of a product made from materials that are derived in whole, or part, from biomass resources."
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NSF Organic Certification

The company in charge of offering NSF Organic Certification is QAI. There are five basic steps involved in the organic certification process. The steps include application, inspection, technical review, resolution and notification, and certification and ongoing compliance. The brands with the certification would include Gripe Water, Constipation Ease, Organic Vitamin D Drops, and Organic Cough Syrups.

Company Offering Organic Certification for Children Products

Process of Application and Certification for a Product Aimed at Children

  • Usually, the NSF certification process is specific to the product and the process or service being certified and the type of certification, but generally follows seven steps.
  • For the organic, the certification that is aimed for the personal care products that are used by children. The process is captured below.
  • The organic certification process, involves five basic steps, whether you produce items at the beginning, middle or the end of the supply chain.
  • Step 1: Application — One provides details of the organic operation that enable QAI to understand the scope of operation, the procedures followed, and the products that the company processes, labels, handles and/or trades.
  • Step 2: Inspection — An experienced inspector conducts an on-site evaluation of the operation to verify the information on the application and assembled documentation. An annual inspection is required for the product to remain certified.
  • Step 3: Technical review — A technical reviewer examines all documentation associated with the operation to ensure it complies with all necessary organic regulations.
  • Step 4: Resolution and notification — There is an opportunity to resolve any items during the inspection and technical review that are unclear or don’t comply with the standards.
  • Step 5: Certification and ongoing Compliance — Upon successfully completing the process, there is certification to the applicable standard. The organization is given a numbered certificate and can use the NSF “contains organic ingredients” certification mark on your compliant organic products.

Brands/Products with Certification

Zevo Products Eligibility for Certification

  • However, for Zevo, the products are made with friendly ingredients that one can feel good about and with no mention of organic composition hence they would not be certified.
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Choose Cruelty Free "Not Tested on Animals" Certification

Choose Cruelty Free is a non-profit accreditation organization that surveys and accredits cruelty-free companies that sell cosmetics, toiletries, and other household cleaning products to Australian consumers, whether online or retail, by leveraging their network of volunteers that "believe in a cruelty-free lifestyle." For any company to get the Choose Cruelty Free "Not Tested on Animals" Certification, it has to fulfill CCF's stringent accreditation criteria.

Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) Company Description

CCF Certification Application Process

Application Process

  • Companies/brands that meet the above criteria can start the accreditation application process by filling a form on the CCF website.
  • The form has boxes for the name, phone number, email, and website URL.
  • Any company applying for certification must answer 'yes' to all the following questions on the form, or they won't be eligible for application:
    • If the business deals with cosmetics, toiletries, and household cleaning products.
    • If the company has an ABN.
    • If the company has been fully-established for at least one year.
    • If the company products are available either online or in Australian retail stores.
    • If the manufacturer and other related corporations meet either the never tested rule or the five-year (or+) rolling rule.
  • If the company answers 'yes' to all the above questions, then it can submit its inquiry for accreditation.
  • After submitting the accreditation inquiry, CCF will get in touch with the applicant later to start the accreditation process.
  • Once the accreditation process begins, the applying company and its contract manufacturers have to fill in and submit a questionnaire and application form.
  • The applicant and the contract manufacturers also have to submit "written statements from ingredient suppliers stating that ingredients have not been tested on animals ever or at least not within the last 5 years."
  • The applicant and its contract manufacturers have to submit a full product list with the ingredients of each product to CFF.
  • The applying company has to pay a one-off fee of $100 when lodging the complete application.
  • Once the company is successfully accredited by CCF, the company receives "receives for the duration of your accreditation a complimentary listing on our website and App, one announcement via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and listing in the monthly CCF eUpdate."

Examples of Brands that Have the CCF Certification


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PETA Cruelty Free Certification

The process for applying and receiving a certification for a product aimed at pets and children for the PETA Cruelty-Free Certification begins with an interested company filling out a short questionnaire and signing a specific statement of assurance.

PETA Overview

PETA Cruelty Free Certification Process

Cruelty-Free Brand Examples

Eligibility of Zevo's products

  • As per PETA's views on insects and rodents, they believe that they should be dealt with using non-lethal methods such as maintaining clean areas and using eco-friendly ingredients to drive them away instead of killing them.
  • On the PETA website, there are no insect control products that Zevo deals with. The closest segment that mentioned on the site is either products for insect bite or insect repellent. Hence, it is reasonable to conclude that PETA does not certify any insect control brands/products as it is against its core values.
  • Though Zevo’s products are developed using ingredients that are harmless to pets and children, they are designed to terminate several types of insects such as spiders, hornets, flies, and ants. Therefore, it is unlikely for Zevo’s products to be eligible for PETA’s certification.

Research Strategy:

To determine the process of applying and receiving a certification or credentialing for a product aimed at pets and children for the PETA Cruelty-Free Certification, we explored the PETA website, where most of the information was available.

To find some relevant product examples, we performed a public press scan for PETA-certified products aimed at pets or children that are safe to use around them. With this approach, we identified some appropriate brands. While searching the PETA database for relevant products, such as insect control, that were in the same segment as Zevo's products, we were unable to find suitable products. The closest product segments mentioned included insect repellent and insect bite. Based on the search results and PETA's views on non-lethal methods of dealing with insects/rodents, we concluded that PETA does not certify insect control products as cruelty-free. Hence, Zevo, which deals with insect control products, would not be eligible for this certification.
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PETA "Not Tested on Animals" Certification

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the world’s largest organization that fights for animal rights and has over 6.5 million members across the globe. Companies that are interested in joining the list of cruelty-free brands can fill out a questionnaire on the organization’s website along with an annual certification fee of $250. Examples of companies that have PETA cruelty-free certification are BugMace, The Nature’s Co., and Bio-Kleen.

PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

  • PETA was established in 1980 to protect and defend the rights of animals. The largest animal-rights organization operates to promote the kind treatment of all animals and works to educate regulators, policymakers, and the public on animal abuse. The organization has over 6.5 million supporters and members from around the globe.
  • While PETA urges companies from all industries to ensure their products are not tested on animals, the organization focuses mainly on four sectors where animals have suffered the most — the entertainment industry, the fashion industry, the food industry, and in laboratories. PETA is also working on ending cruelty to domestic animals and the cruel killing of animals that are most commonly considered as “pests” such as rodents.
  • The organization spreads awareness through special events, protest campaigns, celebrity involvement, and public education. PETA also works through animal rescue, research, legislation, and cruelty investigations.
  • The animal-rights organization has two online guides through which over 2.7 million customers are reached. All companies that have been PETA-approved are added to the organization’s online database of cruelty-free companies and its Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide.

Application Process For PETA Certification

  • Any company interested in joining PETA’s list of cruelty-free companies can either apply for the PETA-Approved Vegan logo (4) or join the Beauty Without Bunnies program.
  • The PETA-Approved Vegan certification is for companies that sell home decor, furniture, accessories, or apparel looking to showcase their animal-free products. Once approved, these companies can place the PETA-Approved Vegan logo on labels, tags, product packaging, company website, or on social media to highlight this feature to their customers. Beauty Without Bunnies program, on the other hand, is designed for companies that sell household cleaning products, personal-care products, or cosmetics.
  • Companies that want to be included in PETA’s cruelty-free list must first fill out a questionnaire and “sign a statement of assurance” confirming that they do not commission, pay for, or conduct any tests on animals for formulations, ingredients, or developed products.
    • The questionnaire can be found here.
  • Once the questionnaire has been answered and the statement of assurance signed, the company would then have to pay $250 in annual certification fees. The qualifying companies along with their credentials will then be added to PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide and its online database of cruelty-free companies.
  • Companies that want to join PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program can request for the necessary application material via email on
  • The companies that have been PETA-approved can license PETA’s cruelty-free logo for a one-time fee of $100. PETA also enables companies to use the logo in any color combination to suit their individual needs.

Cruelty-Free Brand Examples

  • There are currently more than 4,300 brands that are PETA-approved for being cruelty-free. Some of these brands include Tom’s of Maine, The Body Shop, Paul Mitchell Systems, BugMace, The Nature’s Co., and Bio-Kleen.
  • In 2017, BugMace was approved to be cruelty-free through PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program. BugMace is considered to be “the best all-natural mosquito repellent” in the market and is listed in both of PETA’s lists — Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide and the online searchable database of cruelty-free companies.
  • Apart from being on PETA's cruelty-free companies list, The Nature's Co. and Bio-Kleen have licensed PETA's cruelty-free and vegan bunny logo on their company website.

Eligibility of Zevo's products

  • According to PETA’s views on insects and pests, the organization “encourages nonlethal methods of insect and rodent control whenever possible”. The identification of lethal defense against pests and insects is considered acceptable based on the level of threat posed. PETA believes that only under dire circumstances can aggressive methods be used, even if “the attacker is a flea”.
  • After a thorough search through PETA’s online database of cruelty-free (not tested on animals) companies list, products related to insects are found under the categories of “insect repellent” and “insect-bite treatment” alone. There is no category displayed that contains companies with products that terminate insects.
  • While Zevo’s products are developed using ingredients friendly to pets and children, they are designed to terminate a wide range of insects such as spiders, hornets, flies, and ants. It is, therefore, unlikely for Zevo’s products to be eligible for PETA’s certification.
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Green America Certified Business

Green America is the first and largest growing network of eco-enterprises that are socially and environmentally conscious and responsible. It mainly comprises green businesses around the country.

Green America

Process of Application

Examples of Products with This Certification

Eligibility of Zevo's products

Research Strategy

To find admissible information for this research, we first checked the company website for Green America. Here we found information regarding the application process and requirements to receive such a certification. We went ahead and did further analysis of the Green Businesses to get information as to how and who provides such services. The information we got assisted us to understand the application process and examples of products that have received this credential. To determine whether Zevo products would be eligible for this certification, we analyzed their products, values, and manufacturing practices against the required threshold for certification.
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P&G Future Friendly Sustainability Certification

The P&G Future Friendly program was launched in the U.S. in 2010 and was a marketing and education campaign for the company's brands rather than a certification. The program included labeling of P&G products that increased sustainability as well as a consumer education campaign. While P&G continues its certification efforts, this specific program is no longer active. Additional details of this program have been outlined below.

P&G Company Overview

  • P&G, short for Proctor and Gamble, is a consumer packaged goods company with 10 product categories, including personal health, oral care, fabric care, home care, baby care, feminine care, hair care, skin and personal care, family care and grooming.
  • Major brands owned by P&G include Tide, Bounty, Pantene, Cascade, Gillette, Pampers and many others.

P&G Future Friendly Campaign

  • The P&G Future Friendly campaign was a marketing and education campaign launched by the brand in the US in 2010 after launching it in the UK and Canada in 2007.
  • The program was a "multi-brand and multi-platform effort to raise awareness about greener products and greener practices."
  • The campaign included labeling P&G products with the Future Friendly label to indicate that the products saved at least 10% in energy and/or water.
  • The campaign also included an education component, which worked to educate consumers on reducing the impact of their households on the environment.
  • In P&G's 2012 sustainability report, it is reported that the Future Friendly program ran a campaign on Earth Day 2012 that was focused on how using Tide Cold Pods had positive impacts on energy consumption and costs.
  • P&G continues its sustainability efforts, but current company materials do not reference the Future Friendly program, indicating that this wording and label are no longer in use.

Product Examples

  • Tide Cold Pods are one example of a product that was given the Future Friendly label.
  • Cascade Complete was also given the Future Friendly label during the campaign.
  • Pampers diapers were another product given the Future Friendly label during the campaign.

Certification Process

  • Only one reference to the P&G Future Friendly program being a certification was found. This reference is on the Ecolabel Index site, which indicates that the Future Friendly program is a designation for P&G products that work to use sustainably harvested materials, reduce waste, conserve energy and/or conserve water.
  • The site notes that the certification is only for P&G products and that applicants register for the label with no certification being required.
  • Since this is not a certification and is instead a label used by P&G in a marketing and education campaign, there is no process for certification.

Zevo Eligbility

  • As noted above, this label is not in use any longer. However, when it was in use, it was limited to P&G products. Therefore, Zevo products would not have been eligible.
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National Parenting Product Awards Winner Title

The National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA) winner title certification appears to be a potentially relevant and relatively straightforward certification opportunity for Zevo products.

NAPPA Overview

  • NAPPA is one of the longest-running awards programs in the US, with a 29-year history of recognizing the “best products” for children and families.
  • One particularly distinctive feature of NAPPA is that it is not a “pay-to-play” program, which adds to the cache of an award within industry circles and by families.
  • Additionally, NAPPA has an expansive yet highly targeted level of access to parents and families through the organization’s role as the exclusive product evaluator for L.A. Parent, with its reviews showcased in parenting publications across America and given NAPPA’s significant social media following on Facebook (18 thousand followers), Twitter (3.5 thousand followers), Instagram & Pinterest (3 thousand followers), and email (15 thousand subscribers).
  • Meanwhile, those brands recognized by NAPPA each receive the organization’s complementary winning seal for display across products and marketing, a dedicated announcement on the NAPPA website and social media accounts as well as inclusion in product roundups published by NAPPA and various local and national media outlets, among other benefits.

Application Process

  • The application process for NAPPA review is relatively straightforward, and can be started through the NAPPA's online submission form.
  • Product entries can be completed year-round, although specific deadlines are provided for a product to be included in the next upcoming themed editorial roundup.
  • In terms of the actual submission, the process begins with the payment of a fee, which starts at $299 for one product and increases indefinitely depending on the total number of submitted products.
  • Next, a company must populate a fairly detailed product form, including a description of each product, relevant images, website and social media account details and other relevant information.
  • Ultimately, once relevant product information has been submitted, NAPPA works with the company to obtain and review a sample of the product(s) under review.
  • The testing process itself typically requires between four to six weeks, and applicants are notified of their results via email as soon as a decision has been reached.

Relevance & Past Product Awards

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Brand Spark International Most Trusted by Shoppers

The Brandspark Most Trusted by Shoppers awards are a set of awards bestowed upon brands that receive the most positive feedback from consumers in Brandspark's Shopper Survey each year. There is no application process as the awards are not based on company-provided information, but rather consumer responses to a survey.

Brandspark Overview

Brandspark Most Trusted by Shoppers Awards

  • The Brandspark Most Trusted by Shoppers awards are based on consumer responses to the annual Brandspark Shopper Survey. The survey asks participants about what brands they trust most in many categories.
  • There is no application process because this is not a certification that a company can apply for. The award winners are solely based on consumer responses to the survey. The brand with the most positive feedback from consumers in each category is awarded the Most Trusted title for that year.

Example Brands

  • Some 2019 award winners in the Food and Beverage category include Stonefire for most trusted flatbread and Eggland's Best for most trusted eggs.
  • Within the baby and kids category, Gerber is the most trusted baby food and Graco is the most trusted stroller.
  • In the household and pet category, Purina is the 2019 most trusted cat litter while Raid is the most trusted insect control product.

Zevo Eligibility

  • Zevo produces a variety of insect control products.
  • There is an insect control category for the Brandspark Most Trusted by Shoppers awards, so Zevo would be eligible for the award should enough consumers state that they trust Zevo products the most in this category.
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The Environmental Working Group Verified "Free From"

The Environmental Working Group or EWG provides verification to companies, meeting strict criteria, to confirm the products are safe for consumers to use. The process of applying for the verification is not overly arduous, but it is fundamental that all the required documents are available before the process is commenced. Most companies receive a response within a couple of months. Once the verification process is complete, companies can use the EWG mark on their packaging, which provides the consumer with instant information regarding product safety.

Company Offering Certification

  • EWG is the company offering this verification. The company is committed to protecting both the environment and human health.
  • Research conducted by EWG is used to empower and educate consumers to make informed decisions regarding the companies they support and the products they use. Through ongoing pressure, EWG is forcing companies to use only safe ingredients in products and adopt environmentally appropriate business practices.
  • "EWG Verified" is a health and wellness gold standard. The mark enables consumers to quickly and easily identify safe products. The benefit of the mark is the instant feedback that is immediately available to consumers.

Application Process

  • A company can make an application to EWG to use the mark on its products. The process to be followed when making the application is available on the EWG website.
  • The first step in the process involves reading and becoming familiar with the relevant criteria. Three criteria must be read and understood. These include the full criteria for personal care products, the unacceptable use for personal care products, and the restricted list for personal care products.
  • Once familiar with these documents, the next step involves downloading and reviewing the application documents. These documents include a disclosure agreement and a product ingredient spreadsheet.
  • The disclosure agreement gives EWG the right to test the products to ensure they met the standards required to have the mark on them. It indemnifies EWG should unexpected ingredients be discovered.
  • The spreadsheet needs to be filled in accurately by the applicant. The information required includes barcode, product name, labeled instructions, labeled ingredients, labeled warnings, other labeled text, URL for product images for the EWG website, file names of images, and fragrance ingredients.
  • Once these steps have been completed, the applicant needs to download and complete the application. It is relatively straightforward. Details of the applicant and the product seeking to use the mark are required.
  • Once completed, the application form and a PDF file of the product labels need to be uploaded. The application fee of $500 (non-refundable) needs to be submitted to EWG.
  • EWG provides an update in respect of progress or additional steps to be completed within 2-4 weeks. Should the product be eligible for the verification, additional documents proving compliance with the applicable restrictions, will need to be completed.
  • It will take between 4-6 weeks for a decision to be made after all documents are submitted. The product will either be eligible for licensing by EWG, or there will be a request for further documentation,
  • A master affidavit is provided once a product is approved. The affidavit is the final confirmation that the product fits within all the guidelines and rules. It needs to be completed. EWG will arrange training on how to use the mark for the applicant at this time.


  • An extensive list of brands that have been approved to use the EWG mark is provided on the website.
  • These brands include Ourito, Divine, Freedom, Brown Lab, 7minerals, Nena, Natracare, Attitude, and Silk.
  • MyCelle Dermaceticals was one of the founding companies certified to use the mark. They consciously sourced ingredients to ensure they complied with the strict rules imposed by EWG.
  • Beauty Counter is the other founding member. They considered early participation in the EWG program as being fundamental in illustrating who they were and what the company stood for. They have adopted rigorous processes to ensure their products continue to comply with the regulations.
  • In 2017 Walmart instigated a push to encourage companies selling personal care products to obtain EWG verification. This was part of a larger Walmart sustainability initiative.
  • The Divine Company was verified in 2018 and is very proud of this. A certified product is displayed prominently on their homepage, along with a detailed explanation of why verification was important to them. They reaffirm their commitment to the EWG principles and encourage other organizations to verify their own products.

Zevo Products

  • Zevo Products include a range of sprays that are designed to kill bugs and insects, not people or pets.
  • The EWG mark is designed especially for Personal Care and Cleaning Products at the current time. It would appear unlikely given the purpose of the Zevo products that they would be eligible to apply for EWG verification.

Research Strategy

Initially, we reviewed the information available on the EWG website to obtain a better understanding of both the EWG company and the verification. There was a significant amount of precompiled information that comprehensive explained the relevance of the verification. The website also contained detailed information about EWG the company.

We reviewed the application process, which is clearly outlined on the EWG website, and the documents that need to be provided by the applicant. While there is a reasonable amount of reading initially, the documents are clear and easy to follow. The last thing we looked at was the time frame of the application from start to finish. This information was easily located with information around the application process.

To find examples of companies that had applied for EWG verification, we reviewed the customer list on the company website. We also read two of the highlighted case studies. To obtain a complete picture, we visited the website of one of the companies to determine the impact verification had on that company.

The last thing we considered was Zevo and its products. We reviewed the Zevo website, so we were familiar with them. It became apparent almost immediately, based on the type of product they produce and its purpose, that they would not meet the criteria for EWG verification.

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WWF Environmentally Friendly

The WWF is the world's leading independent conservation organization. After in-depth research, it has been determined that the WWF supports many certifications and seals, but does not offer any itself.


  • The World Wide Fund is the world's leading independent conservation organization. The organization's "mission is to create a world where people and wildlife can thrive together." It works with individual people and celebrities, governments, and charities to create a world where both people and nature can thrive.
  • The WWF's UK base includes the Living Planet Centre, located in Surrey, UK. This location includes an educational visitor's center along with a shop, tours, and planned events.
  • The organization accepts donations and helps people and charities to set up fundraisers to support their efforts in preserving nature. The WWF also encourages the adoption of animals such as elephants, penguins, tigers, and polar bears for a monthly donation or gift.
  • It organizes events like Earth Hour, which includes Switch Off 2020 where organizations switch off their lights for conservation with the hope of driving climate change policy and inspiring others to take action.
  • Not only does the WWF focus on wildlife, but also on preserving forests, oceans, fresh water, food, and the climate.
  • The organization is currently under investigation for allegations of "possible illegal activity, improper conduct, organizational mismanagement, or other matters of concern" by the House Natural Resources Committee.

Research Strategy

There is no evidence available that the WWF provides an Environmentally Friendly Certification. The company itself is certified to the environmental management standard ISO 14001 and have upheld this certification standard every year since 2008.

During the course of our research we checked the WWF's official websites, both for global and for the UK. While these official websites provided information for how people, governments, and charities can take action and support the World Wildlife Fund, none of them provided any mention of certification, credentialing, or labels. These sites also offered applications to the Panda Ambassador program, but this program is for those who wish to conduct presentations and events on behalf of the WWF.

We then attempted to look specifically at third-party resources to learn about credentials to certification. During this research, we were also looking for other companies who have been approved to use the WWF logo. We found two resources, both from the WWF, that came close to credentials, but ultimately fell short. The first is an overview of how and why the WWF works with companies. This research only generically mentions strategic and innovative partnerships and gives no indication as to how to begin this partnership. The second article is a legal section of the website which describes use of the foundation's logo. This page makes it clear that the panda logo must not be used or reproduced without express permission. "The letters “WWF” are also a registered trademark and must not be used to endorse or promote any products or services in any way, shape or form."

Next we looked for applications and opportunities provided by the WWF on third-party sites, blogs, press release aggregators, and news portals. Any information pointed back to the WWF official pages. This research path, while failing our ultimate goal, did reveal that the WWF does support the many other types of labeling and certifications such as the Marine Stewardship Council's blue MSC label and the Forest Stewardship Council certification among many others. This research also revealed that the WWF works along with and advocates for sustainable production, verification, and certification systems.

Taking the above information into account, it is apparent that the World Wildlife Fund does not itself offer a certification, seal, or credentialing service.
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Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

Allergy Standards Ltd (ASL) provides the Asthma & Allergy Friendly certification in partnership with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in the U.S. The certification procedure involves many steps, starting with filling out an online application, sending products for laboratory testing, and being granted legal use rights to display the certification mark. Examples of companies and brands with certifications include Disney, P&G, 3M, and a Proctor and Gamble soft surface allergen control spray. Zevo Insect's products are currently not included in the list of ASL Certification Standards, and can therefore not be tested or receive certification.

Allergy Standards Ltd

Certification Application Process

  • The first step in the application process is for a company to express interest in obtaining certification by filling out an online form.
  • The company interested in a certification will have to provide information such as company size, lab tests conducted, product categories, product or brand name, country or territory to use the certification, and sales revenue on the online form.
  • After submitting the online form, applicants have to wait to be contacted by ASL's business development team.
  • They have to sign a mutual non-disclosure agreement to launch the certification process.
  • The third step of the process consists of discussing licensing and testing fees with ASL's business development team.
  • When the two parties reach an agreement over fees, the applicant has to sign testing agreements and submit products for laboratory testing.
  • The next step involves laboratory testing of the company's products.
  • Each category of products has separate standards and guidelines, and specific scientific tests are conducted for each category of products.
  • When the testing phase concludes, ASL's certification board reviews the testing report.
  • If the product passes all required tests without exception, the company receives a Certification Licensing Agreement, and the scientific report is given to the applicant.
  • The last step consists of the issuance of a certification, and the company attains legal use rights to display the certification mark.
  • The entire certification process takes around five months, of which 12 weeks are spent on the testing phase.
  • However, this length of time can vary depending on products.

Examples of Certified Brands and Products

Zevo's Products Certification Eligibility

  • Zevo Insect products include sprays and traps to catch and kill insects.
  • This type of product is not included in the list of ASL Certification Standards.
  • The closest item is a Proctor and Gamble soft surface allergen control spray that has been certified as asthma & allergy friendly.
  • However, despite not being on the category list, Zevo Insect products can still be certified pending some conditions being met. The process involves contacting ASL and specifically requesting a new standard development.
  • The request will be reviewed and considered by ASL's medical and advisory committee, which will decide whether it provides a benefit to individuals with asthma or allergy.
  • If that is the case, then ASL will develop a new standard for testing to cater for the new category of products.
  • The development of a new standard takes around nine months.

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Veterinary Recommended Products

The main requirement for a product to become "veterinary recommended" in the U.S. is for the manufacturer to conduct a "statistically sound survey" of veterinarians validating the claim. The survey has to cover an important proportion of the veterinarian population, but the number of respondents required varies depending on the specific product for which the label is sought.

Vet Recommended Label

  • The label is usually given to products from large and well-established companies that have strong foundations.
  • These pet food companies are able to invest heavily in research, product development, and modern machines.
  • Brands seek this label to build their reputation and better market their products.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

  • The AAFCO provides recommendations to pet food manufacturers and model feed laws that can be applied by state feed control officials.
  • Members of the organization include government agencies from all U.S. states, Canada, and the federal government.
  • Model feed laws provided by the AAFCO can be enforced by states if chosen by state feed control officials.
  • AAFCO does not certify any pet food, and FDA is in charge of pet food regulation and is a member of AAFCO.
  • However, AAFCO recommendations and guidance represent the highest standard in the pet food industry and manufacturers are allowed to mention that they follow their recommendations.
  • Despite AAFCO guidance and models not being official regulations, they have been adopted by most U.S. states and translated into law.
  • This has led to consider the AAFCO "Model Pet Food Regulations" as a national standard for the pet food industry.
  • Even if each U.S. state can adapt and issue its own rules when it comes to pet food regulations, most products distributed nationally are compliant with AAFCO models.
  • AAFCO regulations are especially relevant when it comes to pet food labeling.
  • All pet food labels have to comply with a set of rules governing label format, product names, nutrient guarantees, additives, ingredients, nutritional adequacy, feeding directions, calories, descriptors, and guarantors.

Process to Use the Veterinary Recommended Label

  • Regulations from the AAFCO state that "A personal or commercial endorsement is permitted on a pet food or specialty pet food label provided the endorsement is not false or misleading."
  • This regulation has been the subject of discussions by the AAFCO Pet Food Committee (PFC).
  • Whilst it allows commercial endorsements on product labels, it does not mention how to prove the veracity of an endorsement.
  • In response to this issue, the PFC has studied the question and concluded that pet food manufacturers could add the label "veterinarian recommended" to their products after conducting a statistically sound survey of veterinarians.
  • It means that the survey must cover a representative sample of veterinarians and be conducted scientifically.
  • This survey would be considered as adequate to validate the claim that veterinarians had actually recommended the product.
  • The number of veterinarians to survey has not been provided and depends on the type of product and the comparative products.
  • It also varies according to the size of the market for a particular type of product.
  • Some companies are known to have conducted surveys of 300 veterinarians, using brief questions.
  • There does not seem to be a specific format required for the survey, but it is essential that it should support the claim of the endorsement.
  • In addition, state control officials might require extra data to validate the claims made on products.
  • The claim of "veterinarian formulated" is much easier to prove, requiring only one veterinarian to support it, with the addition of appropriate documentation.
  • However, it is not allowed to add the claim "veterinarian approved" as they are not entitled to approve products, which is the prerogative of the FDA.

Examples of Products with "Veterinary Recommended" Labels

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Pediatrician Recommended Products

After an exhaustive search, the research team could not find any stipulated process necessary for a product to become 'pediatrician recommended'. However, in the course of this research, the team found that such titles are simply marketing terms utilized by manufacturers to sell such products.

Related Findings

  • Many manufacturers promote their products as being pediatrician-recommended. Examples of such products are Pedialyte, Lysol, and Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion branding their products as the #1 Pediatrician-Recommended Brand.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 60,000 "pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and surgical specialists" in the U.S.
  • According to the AAP, these are marketing terms that manufacturers adopt to influence a parent's purchasing decision. "Although the product may be recommended by a group of doctors, what the advertisers don't tell reveal is how many doctors or how long ago the recommendation was made. It could be 5 or 100 doctors surveyed 10 years ago."
  • This endorsement fails to reveal the bases on which the product is recommended or what the product is made of to demand the endorsement.

Research Strategy

To determine the process necessary for a product to become 'pediatrician recommended', your research team commenced by searching through government sources in the U.S. We hoped to find any regulation or guideline on how to ensure that a product is endorsed or recommended but did not find such information. We found a publication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the regulatory expectation for pediatric drug development.

Next, we searched through the websites of associations and organizations related to pediatrics in the U.S. We hoped to find any example or list of products that have been recommended by these organizations which would inform our research on how they got the endorsement, however, no such guideline or list endorsed products were found. We only found information on the endorsement of health reform legislation in the U.S. on the website of AAP, and an overview of the International Pediatric Association (IPA) on the website of WHO.

We switched gears to scour through media publications, health-related journals, and magazines. We hoped to find any publication on the requirements and processes necessary for a product to become pediatrician recommended, no relevant information was found. In the course of our research, we found several publications which hinted that endorsements such as 'pediatrician recommended' are ploys by manufacturers to sell their products.

From Part 01
  • "UL toy testing services perform vital assessment against global standards at laboratories all over the world, fully supporting the toy manufacturing industry’s drive to bring safer products to market."
  • "the content of a product made from materials that are derived in whole, or in part, from biomass resources."
  • "In 2016, Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) took on the task of defining extremely rigid quality assurance standards for hoverboards."
  • "determine their impact on indoor air quality and, by extension, environmental health."
  • "management of sustainability and environment, health and safety aspects of products along the supply chain, from raw materials to finished goods."
  • "independent verification that products live up to their marketing claims."
  • "Is the product covered by an existing standard?"
  • "Does the product pose a danger to users?"
  • "Is the use or application of the product different than similar products?"
  • "Karanja Oil is a Pongamia Glabra Seed Oil which has known properties such as skin protection, antiseptic and insecticide. These benefits bring appealing properties to formulations and support evocative marketing claims."