Conscious shoppers know that labels can tell you a lot about a product’s eco-footprint. The problem is, there are a growing number of eco-labels plastered on everything from shampoo to ketchup, and not all of them mean what you think. Despite what Stanford scientists claim, the USDA Certified Organic label is one of the more reliable standards, since you can log onto the USDA site and learn exactly what each one means. While organic might not be perfect, it does guarantee the absence of certain chemicals and genetically-modified ingredients…but only when it comes to food.
When it comes to personal care products, like lotions and soaps, organic starts to lose its meaning, as there are no Federal laws in place to regulate eco-friendly claims on non-edible items. If you shop at Whole Foods, however, you’ll still be able to buy organically-labeled products with confidence. According to a recent announcement, this popular retailer is the first company to personally guarantee that all of their body care products are certified organic.
According to new, in-house guidelines, shoppers purchasing personal care products at Whole Foods will now have the following assurances:
- Products that claim to be “organic” will be certified to the USDA’s National Organic Program standard for organic (>95%) products. Suppliers must also present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate must name the specific products being evaluated.
- Products that claim to be made with an organic ingredient must be certified to the USDA’s National Organic Program standard for Made With Organic (>70%) products. Suppliers must also present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate must name the specific products being evaluated.
“Hopefully these efforts will address consumer confusion about labeling and encourage the quality of personal care—and the industry as a whole—to improve,” stated the retailer in a press release. Read the full labeling guidelines and what they mean here.