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Whole Foods Essay

1602 words - 7 pages

Whole Foods Market’s Position on “Organic” Personal Care Products  
November 20, 2009  The subject of “organic” label claims on personal care and cosmetic products has been a controversial one, and  certain manufacturers and groups have accused some products of “cheating” by using the “organic” claim  deceptively. This document clarifies the issues, the USDA’s role in regulating organic personal care products,  and articulates Whole Foods Market’s position on the issue.  We strongly support the development of Federal regulations for organic personal care products. The  development of Federal organic standards for food has directly enabled increased consumer trust, substantial  ...view middle of the document...

   What is the regulatory status of “Organic” personal care claims now?  Until there is a clear federal regulation, “organic” claims on personal care products are not explicitly regulated by  the NOP. Personal care products may voluntarily become certified to the National Organic Standards, but the  USDA does not have the authority to police “organic” claims on non‐certified personal care products. In our own  stores, we intend to continue to closely examine all organic label claims to ensure that they are not misleading,  and we will strongly encourage our suppliers who are making organic claims to pursue NOP certification.   What’s WFM’s position on the various “organic” claims on personal care products?  The “organic” claim on personal care products should have a very closely similar meaning to the “organic” claim  used on food, which is regulated by the National Organic Program.  We acknowledge that there is currently regulatory confusion regarding the applicability and direction of the NOP  standards as applied to personal care products. We encourage our suppliers to take the following steps for each  type of organic claim:  Products making an “Organic” product claim (e.g. Organic Shampoo,” “Organic Body Wash.”) should be  certified to the USDA NOP standard. A number of companies are currently making personal care products that  meet the USDA standards for food, and we believe that these are some of the cleanest and most accurately 

labeled products on the market. The NOP standard provides a clear definition for “organic” product claims on  foods, and our shoppers expect “organic” body care products to meet a similar definition.   Products making “Made with Organic ______” claims should be certified to the USDA NOP standard, which is  the best possible certification for “Made with” label claims.   Products making “Contains Organic _______” claims should be certified to the NSF Organic Personal Care  standard, a consensus‐based industry standard which allows a number of additional substances specific to  personal care products.   Any “Organic” claim on the front of the label should be substantiated by certification to one of the above  standards, including the use of the word “organic” in the brand name. Products not certified to one of these  standards may only use the word “organic” in the ingredients listing.   We are currently working with our suppliers to transition their label claims to the above standards. Because these  changes will be pervasive and complicated, we have not yet determined a timeline, but expect to so in the near  future.   What about the UK and Canada?  We are currently researching the regulatory landscape in Canada and the UK/EU in order to create a standard  which is consistent in all countries. Regardless of the country, we expect our body care producers to ensure that  “organic” claims are truthful and consistent with prevailing standards for organic food. We will be issuing ...

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