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Organic Consumers Association

Whole Foods to Remove Non-Certified, Mislabeled "Organic" Body Care Products from their Stores

Web Note: Although we are often at odds with the nation's largest chain of natural and organic products, the Organic Consumers Association salutes Whole Foods Market for "doing the right thing" and announcing on June 8, 2010 that within one year all of the body care products sold in their stores will have to drop the word "organic" from their labels unless they are properly certified under National Organic Program or NSF/ANSI 305 standards. "Organic" and "made with" claims must comply with NOP, and only the more restricted "Contains Organic Ingredients" claim can be made via NSF certification. We call on UNFI, Trader Joe's, the National Coop Grocers Association, and independent natural products retailers across North America to follow WFM's lead and "Come Clean" by removing mislabeled, bogus non-certified "organic" products from their shelves. In the meantime OCA's boycott of these faux-organic products remains in effect. For more information on OCA's Coming Clean Campaign, go to: http://www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare/index.cfm

Ronnie Cummins, International Director

Organic Consumers Association




Greetings Vendor Partners,

It is with great excitement that I am sharing with you our official company policy & associated actions via our Quality Standards team related to Organic Personal Care:

Whole Foods Market's policy on the use of the word "organic" on personal care products

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.

Scope: This policy applies to all cosmetic and personal care products sold at Whole Foods Market.

Timeline: We expect all products sold in our stores to be in full compliance by June 1, 2011. We expect each of our suppliers who are making an "organic" claim to submit their plans for compliance to us by August 1, 2010.

Please Note: Products for which "organic" is included as part of the brand name must be certified to the USDA NOP or NSF 305 standards.

Requirements & Examples:

  1. Products making an "Organic" product claim Examples: "Organic Jojoba Shampoo," "Organic Sea Mineral Body Wash" Certification requirement: Must be certified to the USDA's National Organic Program standard for organic (95%) products. Documentation required: Suppliers must present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate must name the specific products being evaluated.
  2. Products making a "Made with Organic ________" claim Examples: "Made with organic oils," "Made with organic essential oils and botanical ingredients." Certification requirement: Must be certified to the USDA's National Organic Program standard for Made With Organic (70%) products. Documentation required: Suppliers must present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate must name the specific products being evaluated.
  3. Products making a "Contains Organic _______" claim Examples: "Contains organic oils," "Contains organic aloe and rosemary." Certification requirement: Must be certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 Organic Personal Care Standard. Documentation required: Suppliers must present certification documentation demonstrating current compliance with the NSF/ANSI 305 standard.
  4. Products listing an organic ingredient in the "Ingredients:" listing Example: "Ingredients: WATER, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE (ORGANIC ALOE VERA)..," Certification requirement: Organic ingredient must be certified to the USDA NOP standard. Documentation required: Suppliers must present an organic certificate, issued by a USDA-accredited certifier and showing certification to the NOP standard. The certificate(s) must name the specific ingredient(s) being evaluated.

As noted above, we expect all products sold in our Stores to be compliant with these guidelines but June 1st, 2011. If you have additional questions or need further information please contact myself or Joe Dickson (joe.dickson@wholefoods.com ) in our Quality Standards department.

Thanks for your continued support of Whole Foods Market, Jeremiah

Jeremiah C. McElwee

Senior Whole Body Coordinator

Global Purchasing Team
Whole Foods Market
550 Bowie St.
Austin, TX 78703
P. 512.542.0797  F. 512.482.7797

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