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For Immediate Release Holly Givens (413-774-751; email@example.com)
Organic Trade Association to collaborate with NSF International
Goal is to develop a nationally recognized organic personal care standard
GREENFIELD, Mass. (Aug. 16, 2004) -The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has agreed to collaborate with NSF International on efforts to develop an organic personal care standard that could ultimately receive recognition on the national level.
"OTA has made a strategic decision to collaborate with NSF International because NSF's consensus standards development process is accredited by the highly reputable American National Standards Institute (ANSI)," according to Katherine DiMatteo, OTA's executive director. She added, "Standards accredited by ANSI are historically recognized and referenced by federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
DiMatteo said NSF's standards development procedure allows full and open due process, including opportunities for comments and consensus building, by all interested parties. OTA's role in the process would be to bring organic industry expertise, particularly that of its Personal Care Organic Standards Task Force, to a joint committee that NSF would form to deliberate on and develop such a standard. The OTA task force has been working on developing organic standards for personal care products since March 2001.
Questions concerning the status of organic personal care products came to a head in April when the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program (NOP) issued a guidance statement that excluded personal care products and other nonfood products from the scope of national organic standards. Although USDA Secretary Ann Veneman in late May directed NOP to rescind this document, it is anticipated USDA will eventually remove some nonfood products, including organic personal care products, from the scope of NOP. As a result, NSF International has announced its intent to develop an American National Standard for organic personal care products.
Numerous OTA member companies have worked hard and invested heavily in developing certified organic personal care products on the basis of a 2002 policy from USDA that indicated such products could be certified under national organic standards. The April document, however, threatened the value of their investments, and forced renewed calls for a standard that offers assurance about the organic status of such products.
For more details about NSF's standards development process, see www.ota.com/standards/newstandards.html.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the business association representing the organic agriculture industry in North America. Its 1,500 members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others.
Headquarters: 60 Wells Street, P.O. Box 547, Greenfield, MA 01302 USA ( (413) 774-7511 Fax: (413) 774-6432 ( e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ( web site: www.ota.com
Legislative Office: 600 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22304 USA ( (202) 338-2900
August 16, 2004
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