Whole Foods toughens personal-care organics policy

WASHINGTON According to The Organic Consumers Association, Whole Foods Market has introduced a new policy that states that it believes personal-care products that claim to be organic should meet the same standards as food products, which are currently regulated by the USDA's national organic program.

"In the wake of the BP oil spill, Whole Foods' announcement couldn't come at a better time. Now more than ever, Americans are searching for alternatives to petro-chemicals, including in the bodycare aisle," says Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and executive director of OCA. "The new Whole Foods policy is a major victory for people who want to stop washing petrochemical formulations all over their bodies and then down the drain.  These consumers want trusted options for real organic personal care. Whole Foods policy will force major organic cheater brands to drop organic claims from their branding and labeling."



Whole Foods' new policy mandates that "organic product" or "product made with organic [specified ingredients]" claims must be certified under the USDA National Organic Program, just like food.  A more limited "contains organic ingredients" claim for personal care may be certified under the NSF ANSI 305 standard, which has additional allowances for personal care products.  All organic claims which are not certified, including "organics" in branding must otherwise be dropped. Brands have been told they have until August 1 to explain how they will change their labeling or formulations to comply with the new standard. Those that don't submit an explanation are expected to be dropped from store shelves over the coming year while those that comply will have until June 1, 2011 to be in full compliance with Whole Foods' new policy, OCA reported.  

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