THE BLOG
03/23/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Call 'Em on Their Claims: Look up labels on Your phone

You're in the store, looking for shampoo. Many of them claim to be cruelty-free, but one bottle has a little bunny that with a few swish marks appears to be leaping off the bottle. It's the Leaping Bunny logo, but what does it mean, why is it on shampoo and is it any better than other animal-testing claims?

Now you can find out right there in the store using your mobile phone. iPhone owners can download Label Lookup free from the iTunes Store. All other mobile phone users can get listings by texting "lookup" plus "leaping bunny" (or "cruelty-free" or "no animal testing") to 69866 to find out what it means and whether it's a responsible claim that is supported by tough standards.

What about "Free Range," "No Additives," "Non-Toxic," "Certified Humane" or "FishWise"? Whether you're shopping for shampoo or sirloin, paint or poultry, coffee, dairy, fish or produce, everyday products come bearing claims, oftentimes several. Though all are angling to provide you information that will prompt you to buy them, many aren't worth your doing so. This is the real value of Label Lookup: To help you--the discerning shopper--distinguish a reliable claim from those that can't be counted on. New products arrive on the market constantly while old products vanish, but label claims--particularly the most meaningful--remain consistent. Learning how to distinguish the best labels in a given product category helps you make the right choice for the environment and your health whatever you're shopping for.

Label Lookup has rated 169 claims that may appear on cleaning products, personal care products, produce, fish, poultry and eggs, meat, coffee, chocolate, dairy, paper , wood and paint. We draw from the same database used to create , so now you can get the lowdown on labels via the internet or your phone service. To learn more about how the rating's easy three-leaf system works, click here.

The iPhone Label Lookup App allows you to look up claims By Label to find a quick evaluation of a claim at the store, or By Product to pick out those that meet your lifestyle needs. All evaluations are based on EPA, USDA, the California South Coast Air Quality Management District, Consumer's Union and certifier websites.