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Save Organic Standards: Labeling Fraud in the Organic Personal Care Sector

Web Note: Terressentials.com is a respected 100% organic brand in the personal care marketplace.

Save Our Organic Standards!

As loyal customers of Terressentials and devoted environmentalists, you are probably aware of the huge controversy surrounding the mislabeling of conventional personal care products as "organic" and even "certified organic" when such products are not in compliance with our USDA National Organic Program regulations. We're sorry to say that, despite our best efforts to educate the public and work within the natural products industry, we have not been able to persuade most personal care product companies to uphold the National Organic Program regulations and seek official certification for their products. Unfortunately, the USDA has, thus far, not been inclined to utilize their powers of enforcement to reprimand and/or fine companies that abuse and misuse our legally-defined word "organic," or to require all companies that use the word "organic" on their label, or in their company name, to be certified to our federal organic law.

We have been working for years to demonstrate authentic organic leadership, and have inspired a number of companies to follow in our footsteps to create excellent and functional personal care products. We all have proven that a wide variety of personal care products can be made according to our existing National Organic Program rules as they are written. A number of larger personal care companies (many who have few, if any, actual USDA-certified organic products) have been working together, without consumer or organic farmer input that we are aware of, to move away from our USDA National Organic Program regulations by creating their own unnecessary and confusing "organic" standards that suit their conventional synthetic personal care formulas and their profit expectations. These well-funded corporate players and their industry groups are now attempting, via back-door tactics, to persuade the USDA to adopt their anti-competitive and unnecessary lesser standard as part of our consumer-driven National Organic Program.

If you care about protecting the National Organic Program and saving it from corporate attempts to water down the organic standard, now is the time for you to make your voice heard in Washington DC. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has announced that they are seeking comments from the public regarding this matter up until August 31, 2009, only. This is your opportunity to make a difference - to save the National Organic Program from corporate takeover and degradation before we lose the meaning of the word "organic" forever. Please take a stand with us and submit a letter to the USDA and your elected representatives now!

Following is an example of a sample letter that you can utilize in your correspondence to the USDA, your congressman, a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, etc. If you wish to submit your letter electronically, you can find a copy of this notice, the sample letter, background links and mailing address info online at the following link:

http://u.nu/9are       PDF version: http://u.nu/2bre

For additional background on this urgent matter, we are including links to letters that we have written to the NOSB and our Congressman, as well as links to the web site of our US Congress to find the email addresses for your elected political representatives.  If you prefer to mail a hard copy of your letter via USPS, the USDA/NOSB address at the top of the sample letter is the correct mailing address for the USDA and the NOSB.

Use the links below to locate an email address for your representatives in the House of Representatives or Congress. Please send them your letter ASAP urging them to support the enforcement of the USDA National Organic Program for all products making organic claims in the US marketplace.

http://www.house.gov/writerep/

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Historical Background

Terressentials May 2009 Comments to the National Organic Standards Board Regarding the Preservation of the National Organic Program for Personal Care products: http://u.nu/7are

Terressentials 2009 letter to Senator Cardin, Maryland: http://u.nu/8are

Terressentials 2008 letter to the FTC: http://u.nu/4ryf

Send Your Email to:

valerie.frances@ams.usda.gov

kathleen.merrigan@usda.gov