A current email discussion I had (in summary):
- Company: We offer all organic body care products!
- Me: Are they certified organic?
- Company: No.
- Me: How come?
- Company: Because our products contain stuff that can't be certified organic.
- Me: ALL your products have ingredients that can't be certified in them? How is it that these are organic products?
- Company: Because some of our ingredients are organic.
So I look up said products and find that one, not all products contain stuff that cannot be certified, the company has simple chosen not to certify and in addition they're pulling a "Trade secret" deal - meaning, some of their products contain a "Trade secret" ingredient that they won't list. On top of that they're stamping $80+ price tags on these products when consumers aren't even allowed to see what's actually in them.
Sigh. I'm not sure what part of, "Don't call products organic, unless they really are organic" isn't making sense to some companies, but I'm tired of fighting with people about it. Here's the deal - IF you call your product organic, make sure it's flippin' organic. Fake, non-certified organic products give all organic products a bad name. NOT what the organic industry needs.
Here's another truth - organic consumers aren't going to stand for this and organic retailers won't be standing for it much longer either. Organic Consumers Association (OCA) just announced last week that not only has Whole Foods developed a new organic body care standard but now, co-ops are on board too.
After receiving 6,000 letters from OCA members, the National Cooperative Grocers Association has announced that as of June 2011 all of their 134 retail co-ops will be expected to uphold real organic integrity. As of June 2011, all "organic" claims on body care products sold through these retail co-ops must comply with USDA National Organic Program standards for products that are "USDA Organic" and "Made With Organic Ingredients," and NSF/ANSI 305 standards for products that "Contain Organic Ingredients."
I don't know how many times I have to say this, but if your company is producing body care products, it's time to get officially certified as organic or it's time to quit calling your products organic altogether. Calling your non-certified product organic is confusing for many consumers, a terrible way to forward a real, honest organic product movement and is significantly lame for companies who actually go through the organic certification process.
Image cosmétique nature © Pierre brillot