Actually, there has been growing confusion and debate in the USA over what should be considered as an organic cosmetic product and what should not. Considering that its role is limited to farming practices and food products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not created its own rules regarding cosmetic products. However, cosmetics manufacturer have obtained the right to refer to USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) when they comply with its requirements. Otherwise, they may opt for third party controlled labels.
CEH says the California Organic Products Act of 2003 outlines rules for labelling of organic personal care products, requiring that any product using the term “organic” on the front of the package must contain at least 70% organic ingredients. Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may only use the term “organic” on the ingredient list. But in its purchasing in May and June, CEH found dozens of products made by 26 companies that are labelled on the front as “organic” yet contain few or, in some cases, no organic ingredients, based on the ingredient lists on the items.
“For years, organic advocates have called on personal care companies to fix their improper ‘organic’ labels, but our recent purchasing shows the industry is still rife with unsubstantiated organic claims,” said Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH. “We want to encourage companies to use organic ingredients, and insure that consumers can trust organic labels to be meaningful and consistent.”
The companies named in the suit include Hain-Celestial, Alliance Boots, Kiss My Face, and other major brands.