The USDA may not have control over organic label claims on personal care products, but Whole Foods is stepping in to make sure that consumers are getting what they think- no greenwashing allowed.
Beginning June 1, 2011, all personal care products sold in Whole Foods that carry the label 'organic' must adhere to the same organic standards as organic foods- 95% of the ingredients must be organic, with the other 5% consisting of a limited number of regulated ingredients. Personal care product that claim to be 'contains organic ingredients' will need to have 70% organic ingredients, with the remaining 30% consisting of a limited number of regulated ingredients as well.
"Our hope is that someday the USDA will regulate organic personal care products just as it does food," says a statement on Whole Foods' blog.
"We and our shoppers expect a consistent definition of “organic” throughout the store, and the jurisdictional borders between Federal agencies should not ultimately derail this goal. The consistent regulation of the “organic” label across all product categories will increase consumer confidence, improve integrity, curtail deceptive labeling claims, and substantially increase the use of USDA Organic agricultural ingredients in personal care products," says an earlier statement from Whole Foods in support of USDA regulation of personal care products.
We couldn't agree more that someone needs to regulate- how else to teach consumer about how to find organic personal care products and reduce the confusion and distrust surrounding the 'organic' label? What do you think of Whole Foods' new plan?