(March 13, 2011): The Organic Consumers Association’s Coming Clean Campaign has been working to clean up the “organic” cosmetics industry since 2004. The newest focus of the OCA is their” Organic Integrity Initiative,” the goal of which is to limit organic claims to personal care products that are certified to USDA organic standards.
Consumers are wary of green washing. When they see it they turn a jaundiced eye to all that surrounds. One rather large area of the Natural Products Industry which has come under fire for green washing is the Organic Personal care section. For many years, there has been widespread confusion about what is and what is not organic in the Personal care aisle. Unlike organic foods, many health and beauty products are falsely labeled as “organic
Whole Foods Market stepped up to the challenge In June of 2010, “within one year all of the body care products sold in their stores will have to drop the word “organic” from their labels unless they are properly certified under National Organic Program or NSF/ANSI 305 standards. “Organic” and “made with” claims must comply with NOP, and only the more restricted “Contains Organic Ingredients” claim can be made via NSF certification. Henry’s, Jimbo’s, Willy Street Market, Bloomingfoods Coop, Life Grocery and Café, New Pioneer Coop, Summer Hill Botanicals and the National Cooperative Grocers Association have stepped up to the plate as well, announcing that they embrace Organic Integrity and will clean their personal care shelves of false organic claims. This move will end the consumer confusion in the personal care aisle once and for all.
The Organic Consumers Association identified brands who are making false claims, and companies who are properly certified under the USDA rule and who can therefore be trusted. http://organicconsumers.org/bodycare/index.cfm. Of the 26 brands to Trust Trillium Organics is the only company that makes 3 of them. Certified Organic since 2000, Trillium Organics repackaged their brand in 2011 as OGbody by Trillium Organics ( Pron. Oh Gee! Body). Now all products in the range now carry the USDA seal on the front panel. In 2010,Trillium launched OGbaby and OGmama, USDA Certified Organic body care for pregnancy through infancy. All of Trillium’s outperform conventional, natural and organic brands alike. The formulations have been intelligently created to moisturize and balance skin, support the stretch through pregnancy, and promote healthy dermal development in infants. A steady voice for “Organic Integrity” since 1994, Trillium Organics is an industry leader in certified organic moisturizing technology.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) is a rigorous set of standards which mandates that the manufacturing of the products are handled in a manner that ensures the organic integrity of the end product. No other industry standard requires such a full disclosure, and is backed up by on-site audits. According to the USDA NOP, each ingredient must come from certified organic producer; the certification must accompany the product when delivered to the manufacturing facility. The inspector at the annual audit verifies the supplier’s certification of each specific ingredient, and then approves the ingredient as 100% organic or “organic” which then counts for 95% organic in the calculation of the total organic content of each ingredient under the NOP. The inspector also review each product organic content calculation for accuracy; notes the lot code of each ingredient used in any particular batch; checks the lots code of the ingredient used for certification. Finally, the certifier audits purchasing records to verify that the amount of each organic raw material used was indeed purchased from that certified organic supplier. The inspector verifies that the input and output match, allowing no possibility of use of non certified commodities in the production of certified products.
The labeling requirements for USDA Certified Organic Products are specific and stringent, in sharp contrast to the recent use of the word “organic” on non certified personal care products which is completely unregulated.
The labeling requirements of the NOP apply to raw, fresh products and processed products that contain organic agricultural ingredients. Agricultural products that are sold, labeled, or represented as organic must be produced and processed in accordance with the NOP standards. Personal care products would come under the processed products section.
Agricultural products labeled “100 percent organic” and “organic” Products labeled as “100 percent organic” must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients and processing aids. Products labeled “organic” must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). Any remaining product ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the National List including specific non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form. Products meeting the requirements for “100 percent organic” and “organic” may display these terms and the percentage of organic content on their principal display panel. The USDA seal and the seal or mark of involved certifying agents may appear on product packages and in advertisements. Agricultural products labeled “100 percent organic” and “organic” cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation.
Processed products labeled “made with organic ingredients” Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients can use the phrase “made with organic ingredients” and list up to three of the organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel. For example, soup made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients and only organic vegetables may be labeled either “soup made with organic peas, potatoes, and carrots,” or “soup made with organic vegetables.” Processed products labeled “made with organic ingredients” cannot be produced using excluded methods, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation. The percentage of organic content and the certifying agent seal or mark may be used on the principal display panel. However, the USDA seal cannot be used anywhere on the package.
For more information on The Organic Consumers Association, www.organicconsumers.org.
For more information ion Trillium Organics Karen@trilliumorganics.com, call (920)333-0111, or visit www.trilliumorganics.com.