Consumers Deserve Strong Organic Standards for Cosmetics
Most 'Organic' Cosmetics Labels Mislead Public -
Certified Organic is your only guarantee of synthetic chemical free products
which are truly non-toxic.
Monday, August 18, 2003 Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/organic_standards_cosmetics.cfm
WASHINGTON, DC -Scores of "natural" cosmetic companies
will be in Washington, DC September 5-7 for the Natural Products Expo East,
the largest natural products trade show on the East Coast. While most
companies that sell increasingly popular "natural" soaps, shampoos and skin
creams in natural supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes do not
claim their products are "organic," an increasing number of these brands,
such as Avalon Natural Products, JASON, and Nature's Gate, are misleading
consumers into thinking up to 70% of such products are in fact "organic."
The body care companies in question claim that "organic
floral waters" are somehow key functional components of their products.
However, floral waters, that are also called "hydrosols," did not exist as
an ingredient in body care formulations until companies started to use them
to make fraudulent, inflated "organic" claims. Not only is the presence of
these hydrosols largely inconsequential, their actual organic content is
minimal since they are mostly ordinary distilled water. Nonetheless, various
so-called "natural" body care manufacturers are using these waters to
green-wash their products and make organic label claims, even though their
formulations are in fact largely composed of the same conventional synthetic
cleansers, conditioners and preservatives found in mainstream products.
These companies assert "70% organic ingredients" on their labels and
advertising to mislead consumers into thinking that they are buying mostly
organic products when they assuredly are not.
Similar to an infusion or tea, which is made by boiling
botanical material in water, floral waters are made by steaming plants, and
then cooling the steam back to water. Products made with infusions or teas
cannot count the water in such teas or infusions as organic in calculating
organic content under NOP food standards. However, it has become
distressingly common practice to use "Steam Tea" as the main "organic"
ingredient in many personal care products by misleadingly counting the
ordinary water in such "Steam Teas" as organic. .
The fraudulent practice of counting such water as
"organic" in some major companies' body care products has been getting a lot
of attention in mainstream press, from The New York Times and Los Angeles
Times to Consumer Reports. The OCA has demanded that organic body care
standards should mirror the standards for organic food products. This means
- Certified organic agricultural feed-stocks are utilized
exclusively, versus petroleum or conventional vegetable feed-stocks, in the
manufacture of the key basic cleansing and conditioning ingredients.
- Manufacture of such ingredients is reasonably simple and ecological.
- The toxicity of each ingredient is minimal.
- Non-agricultural water is not counted in any shape or form as contributing
to organic content.
The OCA is a grassroots nonprofit organization concerned
with food safety, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, fair trade and
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION o 6101 CLIFF ESTATE ROAD o
LITTLE MARAIS, MN 55614 USA
Telephone: 218-226-4164 o Fax: 218-353-7652o email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well here we go again. Vested interests will stop at nothing if they
think they can make a fast buck or two. Seems everyone wants to get onto the
"organic" and "natural" bandwagon even though their products are far from
being anything like natural. Still full of synthetic toxic chemicals and
preservatives and they have the hide to call it natural!
The only way to actually know you are getting true organic body care
products and cosmetics is to check to see if the product
line is "CERTIFIED
ORGANIC" by the governing body in the country of origin
and they satisfy FOOD GRADE
standards. Unfortunately many recognised
Organic Certifying Bodies have bowed to industry pressure and are allowing
manufacturers to use "necessary" chemicals in the so-called 'Certified
Organic" skin care and body care products they approve of.
Play it safe and ask the manufacturer of the
products you use if they have been made to ORGANIC FOOD GRADE standards. If
not then you can be almost certain they will contain chemicals. Do you
really want to put parabens on your skin?
Why not email the recognised Organic Certifying
body in your country and ask them what "necessary" chemicals they approve of
in the manufacturing process. The answer may shock you! Never trust vested
interests to tell you the truth if it is to their advantage to bury the
truth amongst the hype.
There is an Australian company which does supply Australian Certified Organic
skin care products made to FOOD
GRADE standards. These products are available in the US and many other
at the health report if you want more information about safe products.