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Organic Body Care Standards at Whole Foods Market

What are the Whole Foods body care standards?


whole foods organic body care rules
Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market

For years consumers have been dealing with shady "organic" body care labeling. How come? Here's a quick rundown of the history of organic body care in the United States:

  • The National Organic Program (NOP) does not have a quality organic body care program in place.
  • The FDA regulates cosmetics and body care, but has absolutely no power over the term organic.
  • Body care does qualify for organic certification and NOP will certify actual organic body care. However, NOP does not regulate falsely labeled organic body care products.
  • Basically, any company can say their body care or cosmetic product is "organic" whether or not it is.

Due to misleading organic claims that no one will regulate, Whole Foods Market decided to take things into their own hands. In the summer of 2010, Whole Foods announced that starting in 2011, all organic personal care products sold in their U.S. stores would need to be certified organic. The change to all-certified organic body care took longer than expected, but as of fall 2012, Whole Food's new organic body care policy is in place.

How does this change affects your organic business?

If you make and sell organic body care, there's a good chance you've consider selling through Whole Foods. Arguably the largest organic retailer on the planet, stocking at Whole Foods could greatly improve your bottom line. However, if your products haven't been officially certified organic, you're out of luck when it comes to Whole Foods.

What are the Organic Body Care Standards at Whole Foods Market?

  • Any personal care products sold at Whole Foods that make an "organic" claim must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.
  • All organic products sold at Whole Foods that do contain 95% organic ingredients must be certified to the USDA National Organic Standards.
  • All body care products labeled "made with organic X" must be officially certified organic and include at least 70% organic ingredients.
  • Body care products claiming, "contains organic X" must be at least 70% organic and certified to NSF/ANSI 305.
  • Unless a product is certified as noted above, your product cannot make any claim of "organic" on the packaging.

Where to get more information

If you make and sell organic body care products or cosmetics, including products such as soaps, cosmetics, hair care products, lotions, deodorants, shaving cream, feminine care items or other body care products, you'll need to follow the new rules to get your goods on the shelves at Whole Foods. To learn more, check out the following helpful links.

This article is current as of September 2012.

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