By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Makers of biodegradable dog waste bags are in some deep doo doo with the FTC.

For those of us who mean to bring reusable bags to the grocery store but don’t remember until we’re in the parking lot and wind up using those plastic ones we feel guilty about, the idea that a bag is biodegradable is, you know, good I guess. But it turns out that guessing is what we may be doing even when we try to be responsible enough to use bags that say they’re biodegradable.

The Federal Trade Commission just sent out letters to twenty manufacturers of dog waste bags (who knew there were so many?) that say they’re biodegradable or compostable. That’s because a claim that something is biodegradable means that a product will completely break down into its natural components within a year. But most waste bags wind up in landfills where no plastic biodegrades in anywhere close to a year.

And as for compostable, dog waste usually isn’t safe to compost at home and very few facilities accept the waste so compostable claims are generally untrue.

So the companies need to re-label accurately because, as the FTC says, those unqualified claims are a load of poop.