GREENFIELD, Mass. (March 8, 2002)—Efforts are getting under way to develop U.S. standards for organic personal care products, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) has announced.
OTA’s Quality Assurance Committee has formed a Personal Care Organic Standards Task Force to develop guidelines that will be recognized by the organic industry. OTA’s intent is to invite input from its members and other industry experts to work toward industry consensus on this issue.
In previous work, OTA, which serves all segments of the organic industry in North America, developed industry standards that became the groundwork for U.S. national organic standards governing chiefly the production and processing of foods. However, personal care products are not covered by current U.S. national organic standards, even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) does govern the production and processing of some ingredients that may be used in these products.
The OTA task force was scheduled to meet today in Anaheim, CA, in conjunction with Natural Products Expo West as a step toward proposing industry standards. The task force was formed last year but only recently gained momentum toward creating a first draft standards document. Members of the task force are working together to establish a baseline document that will be a platform for further discussion.
“The major hurdle will be to develop standards for personal care products that safeguard the integrity of organic while considering the constraints of personal care production and processing,” said Katherine DiMatteo, OTA’s executive director.
Once such standards have been drafted, they will be reviewed by OTA’s Quality Assurance Committee, posted for public comment on OTA’s web site (www.ota.com), and approved by OTA’s Board of Directors before being adopted by the industry. Ultimately, these standards might be submitted for consideration by USDA’s NOP.
March 8, 2002
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