Is the EWG reliable? Are their environmental claims backed? Who are they working for? Read on to learn all about the hidden truths behind the Environmental Working Group.

Who are the EWG?

The EWG, or the Environmental Working Group, is an American activist group that works to prevent the use of toxic chemicals and drinking water pollutants. They also advocate for areas with agricultural subsidies and for corporate accountability. They are registered as a non-profit making organization. 

The EWG is an organization that was founded by Ken Cook in 1993. That’s more than thirty years of spotlighting harmful industry standards, providing consumers with sustainability education and research and also speaking up against inappropriate state legislations. Their biggest mission is environmental health, safeguarding consumer rights and getting rid of industrial malpractices.

Is EWG Reliable?

The EWG, or the Environmental Working Organization, has come under a lot of criticism for using false data in its database. They have been accused of exaggerating the risk of chemicals. They have been labeled as ‘alarmist,’ ‘scaremongering,’ and ‘misleading.’ This is believed to be because they are ‘sponsored’ by the organic industry. According to Brian Dunning of Skeptoid, the EWG is nothing but a political lobbying group for the organic industry.

Toxicologists say that the EWG’s claims are exaggerated since they do not provide enough evidence. Their use of methodologies to determine the safety of products is ‘fundamentally flawed’ according to Kavin Senapathy of Science Moms. 

The accusations that the EWG is money-minded and insincere in its goals are true to an extent. They make money by participating in affiliate programs like the Amazon Affiliate program and the Google Affiliate program. Their website sports links to Amazon products, which consumers can click and purchase. 

The website then earns a profit percentage of 2%-4% of the sale. Not all the links on their websites are natural or organic products. They even have links to products that they themselves rate to be highly toxic. For example, the Roc Retinol Moisturizer is a product that the EWG rates as A9 on the toxic scale. However, they have an Amazon affiliate link to the product and benefit from its sale. Does that make them sincere in their mission?

In addition, the EWG has safety ratings that are based on no data-backed evidence. They rate highly toxic chemicals on their toxicity scale and exaggerate the effects of other chemicals. How do they back these ratings? Are there enough scientific or expert opinions to back these views? Are there any expert chemists working for them? Unfortunately, no. none of their ratings have supporting data to explain why they gave that number. 

The EWG also demonstrates a lack of understanding when it comes to the toxicity of certain chemicals and raw materials. Some chemicals that are identical by nature have different ratings by the EWG.

The information provided by the EWG is generally subjected to heavy bias. It isn’t right to label a product as toxic and unsuitable without scientific-backed evidence regarding the toxicity of the chemicals used. Moreover, how dangerous a certain chemical is is dependent on its proportions. An extremely toxic chemical can be deemed safe if taken in the correct proportions, and likewise, a ‘safe’ chemical can potentially kill you if you consume enough of it. 

So, in conclusion, I would say that the EWG is not a reliable source of information about the toxicity of chemicals or the safety of a certain product. Although their efforts to provide a healthy environment for consumers are commendable, the proof of their claims and ratings are extremely unreliable and flimsy. For more reliable information about the unreliability of EWG information, read this!

Read here about the 5Cs of sustainability!

Alternatives to the EWG

Since the EWG is unreliable in terms of its ratings and scientific-backed research, it would be wiser to switch to another, more reliable organization for chemical safety. 

  • The Cosmetic Ingredient Review is an organization that provides information about chemicals and product toxicity. They are backed by toxicologists and scientists, so their data is more reliable. 
  • You will also be able to get reliable information regarding chemical safety with OSHA (Occupational Chemical Database).
  • The Beauty Brains Cosing
  • Cosmetics

Is the EWG reliable? Conclusion

So, is the EWG reliable? The short answer is no. Accusations against the reliability of EWG include misinterpreted data, data and ratings that are not backed by scientific research or expert opinion, questionable money-making strategies and biased information. They have also been accused of being funded by the organic industry and fear-mongering among people without adequate evidence. 

Also read: What are the benefits of smart living? 9 Fabulous Advantages of 2023!

*All pics are courtesy of


Write A Comment