Truly Organic: Agreement Creates Truth-in-Labeling for Organic Personal Care Products

Yesterday, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced the first-ever legal settlement reached under California organic law. Under the agreements reached with eleven companies that make products sold at national retailers, including Walgreens, Target, Whole Foods and many others, their “organic” labeled products must comply with state rules requiring such products to contain at least 70% organic ingredients.

The agreement requires the companies to make their organic records available to CEH, and goes into force after March 31, 2012. Companies that have agreed to truthful labeling including national brands Kiss My Face, Boots, Crème of Nature (Colomer) and others. As California is by far the nation’s largest organic market, CEH expects its agreements will force the companies to change their labels nationwide.

In June, CEH launched its legal action challenging labels on “organic” hair care and other personal care products that violated California organic law. The Center is continuing to pursue its cases against 23 other companies that have yet to agree to truthful labeling. Among these companies are some with “organic” labeled products that contain no organic ingredients, but do contain ingredients linked to health concerns. For example:

  • Vogue International “Organix” brand hair care and other products use the term “organic” as well as the brand name “Organix” in large type on the front label on products that contain few or no organic ingredients.
  • Namaste Laboratories “Organic Root Stimulator” hair care and other products use the word “Organic” in large type (as part of the brand name) on products that contain no organic ingredients.
  • Strength of Nature Global “Elasta QP” brand hair care products use the term “organic” on the front label of products that contain no organic ingredients.

For the list of settling companies and those that have pending cases, see the press release: Landmark Legal Agreements Set Truth-in-Labeling Standard for Organic Personal Care Products.