I also hold the view that if it's very hard to tell the 'real thing' from a synthetic, then one should question if it really makes a difference anyway.
Plastic is a remarkable deriviative of petroleum. Without it we wouldn't have computers, modern cars, or be able to land on the Moon, to name just a few inconsequential matters. It also makes some really great buttons. However, when it comes to traditions and truth-in-advertising, I don't care if horn and pearl buttons make sh** of a difference to the wearer. As the maker I need to sleep at night and shall continue to slay those oxen as necessary. In my spare time, I also tilt at windmills.