June 10, 2010

2 Min Read
OTA Board Supports Personal Care Regulations

OTA has important news to share. At its April 13 meeting, OTA’s Board of Directors adopted a consensus position on the regulation and labeling of organic personal care products in the United States by supporting mandatory federal regulation of organic labeling claims on personal care products. As you know, the primary mission of your trade association is to promote and protect organic. The challenges presented by organic-based products outside the mandatory scope of USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) are great and impact all members of the organic industry. The Board has been very concerned that the lack of mandatory federal regulation of these products is causing consumer confusion and a dilution of the value of the organic label.

The Board’s decision came after extensive deliberation spanning nine months beginning with the establishment of a member task force to draft a paper outlining the issues surrounding the unresolved personal care organic standards. A formal decision analysis process was used in the deliberations.

The Board voted to endorse USDA regulation of personal care products with a new standard within NOP as the best long-term policy option to address this issue. OTA will work with its members, with USDA/NOP, and with members of Congress as necessary to reach this goal.

The Board’s decision is grounded in OTA’s Mission and Core Values. Due to the complexity of the issue, OTA believes this is the best way to accomplish:

  • mandatory third-party certification of personal care products making “organic” claims;

  • strong mechanisms for compliance and enforcement;

  • removal of products from the market that have no organic content but make an organic claim.

Federal regulation will guarantee that organic personal care products meet a consistent standard and will assure that consumers can trust the organic claim. OTA understands that it will take significant time and resources to reach the goal of federal regulation under NOP. However, we believe it is the right solution for the long term in order to achieve consistency with existing NOP product labeling, provide mechanisms for oversight, minimize consumer confusion, and support public confidence in the organic label.

In the meantime, OTA will continue to recommend industry best practices regarding how companies should be communicating and marketing their organic personal care products in the absence of mandatory federal regulation.

We invite you to review OTA's position and related materials <http://www.mmsend9.com/ls.cfm?r=232904706&sid=9772947&m=1031133&u=OTA&s=http://www.ota.com/m/advocacyaction/personalcare.html> on our members-only web site. Please log in using your Member ID: 1799 and Password: new362. Sincerely,

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