USA: Whole Foods imposes deadline on brands to drop false organic claims
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has announced that is pleased Whole Foods Market is taking action to address widespread organic labeling fraud in personal care. Certain brands make organic claims on products whose main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients are generally made without any organic material and are usually composed in significant part from petrochemicals. Whole Foods staff should be commended for taking such a bold meaningful step on behalf of organic integrity for their customers, according to OCA. The new standard announced by Whole Foods is a milestone achievement for OCA campaigners who recently began escalating tactics with boycotts of organic cheaters, protests at trade shows and forging strong alliances with groups such as Consumers Union.
"In the wake of the BP oil spill, Whole Foods' announcement couldn't come at a better time. Now more than ever, Americans are searching for alternatives to petro-chemicals, including in the bodycare aisle," says Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and executive director of OCA. "The new Whole Foods policy is a major victory for people who want to stop washing petrochemical formulations all over their bodies and then down the drain. These consumers want trusted options for real organic personal care. Whole Foods policy will force major organic cheater brands to drop organic claims from their branding and labeling." The new Whole Foods Market policy on "organic" labeling personal care products states: "We believe that the "organic" claim used on personal care products should have very similar meaning to the "organic" claim used on food products, which is currently regulated by the USDA's National Organic Program. Our shoppers do not expect the definition of "organic" to change substantially between the food and the non-food aisles of our stores."
Whole Foods new policy mandates that "Organic Product" or "Product made with Organic (specified ingredients)" claims must be certified under the USDA National Organic Program, just like food. A more limited "Contains Organic Ingredients" claim for personal care may be certified under the NSF ANSI 305 standard, which has additional allowances for personal care products. All organic claims which are not certified, including "Organics" in branding must otherwise be dropped. Brands have been told they have until August 1, 2010 to explain how they will change their labeling or formulations to comply with the new standard. Those that don't submit an explanation are expected to be dropped from store shelves over the coming year while those that comply will have until June 1, 2011 to be in full compliance with Whole Foods new policy.
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