Thursday, July 30, 2009

Organic Body Care Standards Explaned

Organic Body Care Standards

Generally, if a product has one of the organic body care certifications below it is considered an organic product. Products that claim to be organic without having one of these certifications are technically not an organic product unless every ingredient in the product is made from certified organic food/agricultural ingredients (making it organic by default).

Standard Published Comments
USDA Organic
2005 The strictest of organic standards because it is really a food standard. Requires 95% organic content to use logo. Disallows synthetic preservatives, and most chemical processing of ingredients.
2009 NSF is one of the first US organic standards to emerge after USDA for cosmetic manufacturers. NSF requires a minimum of 70% of all ingredients (excluding water) to be organic to use its “made with organic” claim. Allows a broader array of preservatives and chemical processes than USDA.
2008 Oasis was created by a number of US beauty manufacturers and competes with the NSF standard. Oasis requires 85% of all agricultural ingredients to be organic. Allows an even broader array of preservatives than NSF, and similar chemical processes to NSF.
European Union
2008 NaTrue is a new non-profit standard from Europe started by German organic beauty manufacturers. It created a 3 star system to segregate “natural cosmetics” from “natural cosmetics with organic content” from “organic cosmetics”. Natrue 3-star requires 95% of all agricultural ingredients to be certified organic. 2-star requires 70%. Maximum of 5-15% (depending on the product category) of content can be from Natrue’s acceptable synthetic list.
European Union
2009 COSMOS is the first European Harmonized Standard for Organic beauty created by the first 6 EU organic beauty certifiers. COSMOS requires 95% of agricultural ingredients to be organic. 20% of total product by weight must be organic – including water. Allows a maximum of 5% synthetic content.
1995 Though called a natural body care standard, BDIH requires manufacturers to use organic content wherever possible. It defines “where possible” as being available in sufficient quantity and quality, and defines which plants fall into this category by default. Therefore, it is possible for a product to have 0% organic content and still be BDIH certified. BDIH also maintains a member’s only list of acceptable ingredients that can be used in its products. BDIH was a forerunner by creating the world’s first organic body care certification.
Soil Association
United Kingdom
2002 Soil Association requires all of its certified products to show the organic percentage on the package. For a product to be called organic it must be 95% organic. For a product to state “made with organic X” it must be a minimum of 70% organic. Soil Association excludes water in this calculation, but if water is used to create an ingredient (such as a floral water) the weight of the water in contrast to the weight of the plant being used determines its organic percentage. This method precludes manufacturers from manipulating their organic content levels by using organic floral waters to boost their organic percentage.
2002 Requires 95% of all agricultural ingredients to be organic. 10% of total product by weight (including the weight of water) must be organic. Allows up to 5% synthetic content. Cosmebio is only available to French manufacturers, and is certified by Eco-cert. Eco-cert is available to manufacturers all over the world.
2002 Requires 95% of all agricultural ingredients to be organic. 10% of total product by weight (including the weight of water) must be organic. Allows up to 5% synthetic content.
2003 Does not require a minimum organic content level. Water is not considered in the organic content. Maintains an extensive list of ingredients not permitted in organic cosmetics.
2004 Follows similar rules to Ecocert.
2005 NASAA is a food ceritification body similar to the Soil Association that has also developed a standard for beauty. NASAA restricts numerous synthetic ingredients and processes used in cosmetics.
2006 Requires 95% of all agricultural ingredients to be organic. 10% of total product by weight (including water in the weight) must be organic. Allows up to 3% synthetic content.

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