Germany: Certifier Ecocert called to adjust standard for detergents and cleaning agents
by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 1)
The international certifier Ecocert must further develop its standard for detergents and cleaning agents (DCA). Otherwise, DCA products with Ecocert certification will soon no longer be permitted according to the assortment guidelines of the German organic specialist trade.
Why Ecocert needs to adapt its DCA standard
In its DCA standard, Ecocert permits enzymes produced by genetically modified microorganisms. Only the substrate from which the microorganisms feed must be GMO-free. A number of ingredients of petrochemical origin are also permitted.
Nevertheless, Ecocert certification for DCA has so far been recognised in the assortment guidelines (AGL) supported by the Federal Association Natural Food Natural Products (Ger.: Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren, BNN) and Natural Food South (Ger.: Naturkost Süd), as have the standards of Austria Bio Garantie, Ecocarantie and Nature Care Product.
Transition period until the end of 2022
In December 2018, the steering committee responsible for the development of the AGL decided to not further recognise the Ecocert standard and to tolerate it only until the end of 2022. The steering committee calls on the certifier to further develop its standard during this transitional period.
"By the end of 2022 at the latest, Ecocert must further reduce the possibilities for the replacement of (partially) petrochemical ingredients and prescribe the elimination of enzymes produced by genetically modified microorganisms, so that products with these labels can continue to be sold in the organic food trade," writes Cornelia Dressler of the BNN.
What manufacturers need to consider now
According to the directive, manufacturers who continue to use the Ecocert seal during this period must provide complete proof that the enzymes used were produced without genetic engineering and document this on the packaging. It also requires Ecocert to report annually by 30th June on the development steps taken to replace (partially) petrochemical ingredients. In addition to the nature-identical preservatives permitted in natural cosmetics, the other standards only allow the bleach activator TAED and polyaspartates as complexing agents. Ecocert has been much more generous so far.
Currently, numerous products from Almawin/Klar, Ecover and Sodasan bear the Ecocert seal, often in addition to the Ecogarantie seal.
Please also read:
Please also read:
Biotechnologically produced ingredients for cosmetics are widely used today. Also in the production of components for natural cosmetics. Where are the limits to genetic engineering, what are the regulations and what do consumers expect?
The scientific advisors to the EU Commission have presented a paper in which they urge the Commission to change genetic engineering legislation. Some European and German politicians agree.
Against genetic engineering: 75 companies have sent an open letter to the EU Commission. These include many organic companies as well as conventional ones.
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