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Changes to the Funeral Rule: What Does it Mean for the Future of Human Composting?

By: Tom Harries

Sep 07, 2023

2 min read

What is the Funeral Rule?

  • The Funeral Rule was established to provide federal consumer protections within the funeral industry. Very simply, it requires funeral providers to give consumers certain disclosures about funeral services, most notably accurate, itemized price information.
  • The Funeral Rule is overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It has not been updated in any way since 1994, but changes are now being considered.

How does this apply to human composting?

  • Human composting providers are covered by the Funeral Rule, although they are not currently specifically identified/ human composting is not mentioned as a form of disposition.
  • The FTC is holding a workshop in September 2023 to hear from the funeral industry, consumer groups, and human composting providers about ways to update the Funeral Rule.
  • Changes could include including human composting as a category of disposition along with traditional burial and cremation. It could also mean updates to the GPL, which lists itemized funeral pricing to include specific human composting related costs.

Earth view: the future of the Funeral Rule

  • The Funeral Rule is overdue for an update. Consumer needs and wants have changed over the past 30 years and new protections should be put in place to reflect that.
  • The majority of Americans are interested in green, environmentally friendly choices that are popular alternatives to traditional options. It’s important to bring the Funeral Rule in line with 2023 consumer expectations, and that requires explicit acknowledgment of new forms of disposition.
  • We welcome greater transparency and consumer choice. Updating the Funeral Rule to require displaying price information online and to include human composting makes sense.
  • As responsible providers we want to make sure that this growing area is provided for in regulations and that future providers are held to the transparency standards expected of the wider industry. We also believe it is important for the FTC to recognize human composting as a disposition form since consumer interest and demand continue will continue to grow significantly in coming years.

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