Whole Foods To Make Personal Care Products Companies Prove Their Organic Claims

Whole Foods founder John Mackey, photo via new yorker

Whole Foods has taken its knocks, but no one can doubt that the company has been a leader in pushing forward progressive policies that are good for the earth. The Austin-based grocer's latest move is to require third-party certification by June 1, 2011 for personal care products and cosmetics that make an "organic" claim.All beauty and personal care products sold at Whole Foods will have to meet the United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA NOP) standard, the same standard to which organic food must be certified under U.S. law.

Says Joe Dickson of Whole Foods:

"At Whole Foods Market, our shoppers do not expect the definition of organic to change substantially between the food and non-food aisles of our stores. We believe that the 'organic' claim used on personal care products should have just as strong a meaning to the 'organic' claim used on food products, which is currently regulated by the USDA's National Organic Program."

So what are standards? According to Whole Foods, those products that advetise as organic must meet the standards below:

1. Products making an "Organic" product claim must be certified to the USDA's National Organic Program standard for organic (>95%) products.

2. Products making a "Made with Organic ________" claim must be certified to the USDA's National Organic Program standard for Made with Organic (>70%) products.

3. Products making a "Contains Organic _______" claim must be certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 Organic Personal Care Standard.

4. Products listing an organic ingredient in the "Ingredients:" listing must be certified to the USDA NOP standard.

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Whole Foods CEO Defends Health Insurance Views, His Right to Speak, in New WSJ Interview