The Organic Consumer’s Association is currently leading a campaign called “Coming Clean” which is petitioning against falsely labeled “organic” cosmetics. Although consumers are walking into Whole Foods and other health food stores thinking that they are buying the best in organic cosmetics, the US government does not regulate cosmetics for safety, health threats or environmental damage. Therefore, cosmetic companies are able to falsely label their products “organic” even when they are not USDA certified organic. Companies such as Avalon, Desert Essence, Earth’s Best, Giovanni, Head, Jason, Kiss My Face, Nature’s Gate, Physician’s Formula and Stella McCartney just to name a small percentage, are all advertising their products as “organic” and “natural” when in fact the main ingredients are harmful chemicals and they are not officially deemed organic by the USDA. Check out this link to see just how hazardous these products actually are: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AmQUe_l_s2kvdGlsZmZZY2VGOV83dkhUb1ZGUWlpMVE&gid=5
Many of the companies have actually been bought out by large corporations. For example, did you know that Burt’s Bees was sold to Clorox and Tom’s Toothpaste was sold to Colgate??!! Avalon Organics and Jason Natural Cosmetics are owned by Hain Celestial Group, Good Stuff Organics is owned by pH Beauty Labs and Nature’s Gate is owned by Levlad corporation. Contained in mostly all of these products are cancer causing chemicals, developmental toxicity and user warnings. Pretty surprising for something that claims to be organic isn’t it? You can read up on many other cosmetic companies on http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
Most likely the answer is no. We do not know how harmful the ingredients are that are in our so called “organic” products. The companies claiming to be organic that are listed above all manufacture products that contain similar harmful chemicals: ethanol, retinol, and melatonin all cause cancer. Citronellol leads to immunotoxicity and irritation, octinoxate cause endocrine disruption along with oxybenzone and salicylic acid causes neurotoxicity. These chemicals are contained in the highest percentage of the products these companies are producing along with many, many other harmful chemicals. If these companies are labeling their products organic, exactly which ingredients are actually safe to be used on the body if there are so many harmful ones?
Dr. Bronner’s stands to be the most reliable in certified organic cosmetics with the lowest skin-deep hazard levels. All of it’s constituents are certified organic, with the main ingredient being hemp. Along with being USDA certified organic, all Dr. Bronner’s cosmetics are also Fair Trade Certified. Along with Dr. Bronner’s, companies such as Alteya, Baby Bear, Badger, Bumble and Bee, Organic Essence, Purely Shea and Origins Organics are all USDA certified organic. In other words, just make sure you are checking the labels of the products you are buying to see if they are actually USDA certified organic!
Whole Foods Market just recently created a new policy that will be in total effect in June 2011 in which they stated:
“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. Accordingly, the following requirements apply to all personal care products which use the word “organic” in any way on the product label”.
All personal care and cosmetic products sold at Whole Foods Market that claim to be organic must show documentation of certification by the USDA in order to be sold and labeled as organic. This requirement is a very big step in properly labeling products for many companies and is setting an example for other large companies such as Trader Joes, Stop and Shop and many more to also properly label their “organic” products.
Take the next step and refuse to buy products that aren’t properly labeled and set a precedent for others to follow! Read more with the link below and take the quiz to see if you really know who is in control of your “healthy” products!