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Industry Creates New Bogus "OASIS" Organic Standard for Personal Care Products

The OASIS standard was spearheaded and created exclusively by conventional industry members like Estee Lauder (owner of Aveda), Loreal and Hain (Jason, Avalon), without any input or comment period from organic consumers, organic farmers or personal care companies who have achieved USDA National Organic Program certification for the majority of their products.

The OASIS standard allows a product to be labeled outright as “Organic” (rather than “Made with Organic Specified Ingredients”) even if it contains hydrogenated and sulfated cleansing ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate made from conventional agricultural material grown with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and preserved with synthetic petrochemical preservatives like Ethylhexylglycerin and Phenoxyethanol. [Reference: OASIS Standard section 6.2 and AntiMicrobial List]

Products certified under the OASIS standard must only contain 85% organic content, which means that “organic” water extracts and aloe vera will greenwash conventional synthetic cleansing ingredients and preservatives, since the water content of water/ detergent based personal care products like bodywashes and shampoos represents around 85% of the product. The OASIS standard is not merely useless but deliberately misleading to organic consumers looking for a reliable indicator of true “organic” product integrity in personal care.

Organic consumers expect that cleansing ingredients in products labeled “Organic” be made from organic not conventional agriculture, to not be hydrogenated or sulfated, and to be free from synthetic petrochemical preservatives.

OASIS claims to be the first U.S. “organic” beauty care standard. In actuality, the USDA National Organic Program has been certifying personal care products for over four years. This year, in particular, marks a watershed, because in 2008 there are more genuinely organic products on the market, bearing the “USDA Organic” seal on the front label than ever before.