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OCA Holds Press Conference At Natural Products Expo East

The following is the full text of speeches given at the Press Conference

9/6/2003

WASHINGTON, DC -The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) will host a press conference on the growing support for strong consumer protection from the unregulated cosmetics industry on September 5, 2003 outside the New D.C. Convention Center at the Corner of 7th and L Streets, NW at 10:00 am. The press conference will be held at the opening of the Natural Products Expo East trade show and will highlight numerous cosmetic products being exhibited that have misleading 'organic' labels. Presenters will also discuss the harmful effects of chemicals commonly found in mainstream cosmetics, such as phthalates, which are linked to birth defects, and will publicly demand the U.S. follow the European Union in banning these dangerous chemicals.

AGENDA:
" Craig Minowa
Environmental Scientist--Organic Consumers Association
" James E. Simon
Ph.D. Environmental Stress Physiology, University of Massachusetts
" Charlotte Brody
Registered Nurse and Spokesperson for the Campaign for Poison Free Products,
" Bob Durst
Inspector for Organic Certifiers, Oregon Tilth
" Larry Plesant
Green Products Alliance and Founder of Vermont Soap Works
" David Bronner
President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
" Diana Kaye and Jim Hahn
Terressentials


Craig Minowa- Environmental Scientist
Organic Consumers Association
craig@organicconsumers.org
http://www.organicconsumers.org
1-877-264-4440
Craig Minowa has been an actively working as a researcher and writer for environmental nonprofits for over a decade. His academic background is in organic-chemistry, physics and the bio-sciences. He is also an Official Advisor to the United Nations on issues of water privatization and indigenous rights.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a grassroots non-profit public interest organization which deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, corporate accountability, and environmental sustainability. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on representing the views and interests of the nation's estimated ten million organic consumers. Our national coordination center is located in Little Marais, Minnesota and our West Coast field office is located in San Francisco. The OCA has additional staff in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Los Angeles; Seattle; Boston, Massachusetts; and Washington, D.C. as well as 80,000 members, subscribers, and volunteers across the US. Our US and international policy board is broadly representative of the organic, family farm, environmental, and public interest community.
Hello, my name is Craig Minowa, I'm an Environmental Scientist with the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). I'd like to welcome you all to today's press conference. As you can see from the agenda, we have a number of esteemed experts speaking today, so I'll be keeping introductions brief, but you can learn more about today's speakers in our press packet.

Just to give you a brief overview of the issue at hand, the OCA launched a campaign to ensure rigorous standards for "organic" body care at the Natural Products Expo West, in March of 2003. Currently, various big body care companies and interests are using their influence to shape weak and watered down organic standards for body care products. And they are succeeding. This is being done in a manner that serves to dramatically increase their profit margins at the expense of public health and the environment, while putting legitimate organic farmers and body care producers out of business.

The OCA believes that organic body care standards should emulate organic food standards. The pores in your skin are like a million tiny little mouths, absorbing lotions, shampoos and soaps directly into the blood stream. With that, consumers should feel assured that a body care product that is certified as organic is as safe as food product that is certified as organic, in that both types of product will ultimately end up being internalized on some level. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Current fraudulent labeling on organic body care products has resulted in a small handful of large cosmetics companies taking the lion's share of market sales for organics by taking standard synthetic products and watering them down with poorly regulated and overly diluted hydrosols.

It must be noted, the OCA acknowledges hydrosols as a legitimate product, when it is produced correctly. The problem is that there are currently no agreed upon industry standards or regulations for hydrosols, making it possible for an unethical hydrosol producer to literally turn on the tap water, walk away and let it run indefinitely. The result is a cheap, heavily diluted hydrosol that amounts to little more than distilled water. This is exactly what's making it possible for some body care companies to inflate their advertised organic percentages-- by replacing water content in their products with cheap and heavily diluted hydrosols.

This current practice could literally destroy USDA organic standards altogether. Imagine if Mountain Dew or Campbells soup began replacing the water in their products with a cheap overly diluted hydrosol and began labeling their soups and sodas as 70% organic. The true organic products wouldn't be able to be price competitive, so true organic beverage and soup companies would go out of business, as would the organic family farmers supplying them with their ingredients. As we speak, this is exactly what is happening to the organic body care industry.

This weekend, hundreds of natural products industry professionals are meeting here in Washington D.C. to exchange ideas and promote their products. Specifically, one hour from now the Personal Care Task Force will be meeting to discuss organic standards as they relate to body care products. This task force serves as an advisor to the Organic Trade Association and the USDA' National Organic Program. It is precisely this group of individuals that will hammer out what will eventually become government enforced organic standards for body care products. Products that meet their criteria will be able to proudly the wear the seal stating that they are USDA Certified Organic.

The USDA organic seal has become a certain "badge of honor" for food products that meet the necessary criteria. Consumers look for it. Consumers trust it. Consumers believe that when they're buying a certified organic product, that they are investing in sustainable agriculture, the health of their families, the environment, and the economy.

In that sense, the standards developed for body care products must reach a high enough level of criteria to be worthy of the trust consumers put into it. Unfortunately, the Personal Care Task Force, was established and is controlled by the very businesses that are already making millions of dollars off of standards that they are developing themselves. These are the same businesses who established the organic cosmetics standards for the state of California. And these are the same businesses that are now putting legitimate hydrosol producers and organic body care companies out of business.

OCA is working hard to build alliances and inform the public about this current regulatory decision-making process and about the methods being used by these big companies to fool consumers. Over the past two weeks more than 200 body care producers, businesses and retailers, as well as over 3,000 concerned consumers, have signed-on to endorse OCA's organic body care campaign. We are taking all of the necessary channels to protect consumers, the environment and organic standards. We have filed a formal complaint to the California State Organic Program. We will be speaking to the Personal Care Task Force today. We will be filing a formal complaint with the USDA National Organic Program this month. And we are devoting assets to acquiring extensive data that clearly shows a quality hydrosol's chemical makeup, as well as defining how much added water is in a quality hydrosol. This data is coming from a variety of experts that do not represent the business aspect of the body care industry. These experts are world renowned in this field of study, and by not representing business, their input is completely unbiased.

I'd like to introduce you to one of those experts now. The OCA and Oregon Tilth have commissioned a study through Rutgers University to determine, among other things, the average amount of added water that is in various types of quality hydrosols. Heading that research is Professor James E. Simon. Dr. Simon's area of expertise is in new crop development, aromatic and medicinal plant domestication, with a specialization in natural products such as those containing extractable chemicals in interest for flavor, aroma, and medicinal activity. He has published nine scientific reference books on new crops and aromatic and medicinal plants and more than sixty scientific papers in this area.


James E. Simon
Ph.D. Environmental Stress Physiology, University of Massachusetts, 1984
M.Sc. Plant Nutrition, Oregon State University, 1977
B.S. Agriculture, Empire State College, 1974
Email jesimon@aesop.rutgers.edu
Phone 732.932.9711 ext 355

Charlotte Brody, RN,
Spokesperson for the Campaign for Poison Free Products,
a project of Healthcare Without Harm.
(please see attachment for text of speech)


Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of 423 organizations in 51 countries working to transform the health care industry so it is no longer a source of harm to people and the environment. They have also recently launched a new "Campaign for Poison Free Products"

Statement of Charlotte Brody, RN
Executive Director, Health Care Without Harm
speaking on behalf of the Campaign for Poison Free Beauty Products

A little more than a year ago, Health Care Without Harm, Women's Voices for the Earth and the Environmental Working Group partnered in testing the most popular deodorants, hair products, fragrances, lotions for the presence of chemicals that can cause birth defects. We found that 72 percent of the products we tested had one or more phthalates-a group of chemicals that animal studies show can harm the testes of the developing male. Many nail polishes also have one of the most dangerous phthalates, DBP which is now being banned in the European Union.

Poison, the aptly named perfume by Christian Dior, had more phthalates than any other product tested.

The press coverage of the release of Not Too Pretty generated thousands of responses. When woman asked me what to do, I told them that their safest bet was to not buy Poison but to buy natural, organic products instead. I made the distinction between the chemical-poison using companies like Christian Dior and Maybelline and Clairol and Nivea and the safer, cleaner, more honest organic natural cosmetics producers.

If "organic" standards are so watered down that water is counted as an organic ingredient, it will destroy the distinctions between the Poisons of the world and the world of natural products. That Poison/no poison distinction matters to me and matters to millions of women and men.


Bob Durst, Inspector for Organic Certifiers, Oregon Tilth
Bob Durst has worked with a wide variety of food processors regarding product quality issues. He has been an organic processing plant inspector since 1993. He is a member of the Organic Materials Review Institute Processing Technical Advisory Review Panel and has been an instructor at numerous Independent Organic Inspectors Association sponsored trainings where he has taught inspectors about processing. His background in analytical chemistry has yielded insights into solving problems of the food industry. His knowledge of chemistry and the food industry coupled with an understanding of organic processing principles gives Bob a valuable perspective on how to apply the principles of organic production in a safe and economical manner. bob.durst@atpconsultants.com
Oregon Tilth is a non-profit research and education organization certifying organic farmers, processors, retailers and handlers throughout Oregon, the United States, and internationally. Oregon Tilth's mission is to support organic and sustainable food production practices. Since 1974, Tilth has brought together individuals working to support and promote biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.
I am Bob Durst, a consultant with Simple Organic Solutions, and also a member of Oregon Tilth's
Certification Committee. I have been involved with organic processing issues for about 15 years.
Within the current USDA's National Organic Program there are a number of practices and product lines that are regulated (farming, livestock, processing). There are also others that they are actively working on addressing (apiculture, mushrooms, greenhouses). They have stated in their Scope document that any product using agricultural inputs that makes organic claims, must follow the NOP regulations. My paraphrasing of the Scope statment to extract relevant sections:
Specifically, [USDA has] been asked if the regulations apply to cosmetics & body care products. Because these contain agricultural products the producers are eligible to seek certification under the NOP. They must also be produced, handled and labeled in compliance with any other applicable Federal statutes. The current controversy stems from a number of manufacturer's making organic claims for products that are certainly contrary to the spirit of the organic movement and likely to also be illegal within the letter of the law.

The USDA has not chosen to enforce these rules, so these claims have gone unchallenged from within the agency. USDA has left it up to the consumers, the market place and organizations such as OTA to sort out these issues. It would be nice to have some definitive guidelines from USDA in the this regard. With or without information from USDA, the OTA has taken it on to try and add product categories and definitions of what constitutes "organic" claims for them. Some of these categories are aquaculture, fiber, cosmetics, mushrooms, apiculture, greenhouses, etc. These are at various stages of OTA or USDA review, with the ultimate goal of a USDA formal rule making. Most of these areas have not seen large incursions of marketing hype trying to confuse the consumer with unsubstantiated organic claims. Personal care products is the exception. There are numerous products currently in the marketplace that are making claims that are
inconsistent with what is being discussed within OTA. Oregon Tilth has reviewed the information regarding these personal care product claims and the applicable NOP regulations and has come to the conclusion that while hydrosols do qualify as an organic product, if used in a multi-ingredient product, water added during their production should not be counted as part of their
organic content. My paraphrasing of the 8/23/02 statment to extract relevant sections:

Exclusion of water as discussed in this policy statement is solely for calculating the percentage of organic ingredients contained in a multi-ingredient food product.Water used as an ingredient in a multi-ingredient food …must be excluded when calculating the percentage of organically produced ingredients. When water is listed as an ingredient of a product not recognized by FDA as a standardized food and that product is used as an ingredient in a multi-ingredient food, the
water must be excluded when calculating the percentage of organically produced ingredients. These statements are clear indication to us that these inflated organic claims on personal care products are not within the letter of the USDA-NOP regulations. Action should be taken to stop these claims before further damage to legitimate organic claims occurs and before consumer confidence in organic claims and the USDA's ability to regulate the industry further deteriorates.

Larry Plesant,
Green Products Alliance and Founder of Vermont Soap Works
E-mail: Info@VtSoap.com
616 Exchange Street, Middlebury, VT 05753
Phone: (802) 388-4302 ~ Fax: (802) 388-7471

Green Products Alliance is a consortium of manufacturers and marketers who make and sell extraordinarily natural personal care products. We are looking to network with companies who believe that socially responsible business practices can help to create a sustainable economy and ecosystem. Member companies work together to lower raw material, marketing, advertising and public relations costs through co-operative projects and group buying power. Membership is free. Marketing and distribution opportunities are on a project by project basis. All products are subjected to a rigorous set of standards as to what is considered natural.


Organic . A powerful word in the minds of millions of Americans.. And they know what it means.
Market forces seek the broadest and most diluted definition of the word. Purists insist on a very strict definition. Billions of dollars are on the table. Why? Because consumers want products that are free of synthetic chemicals, and don't cause harm to themselves or our planet . Why change it?
Most personal care products can be made without the synthetics. Why the controversy? In order to hit predetermined price points, distributor demands and still run all those full page ads, something has got to give. And that something is the stuff in the bottle.
What about hydrosols ? The National Organic Program rules are very clear that water cannot be counted , as a percentage of the organic content. The point is, you can't count the water, whether it comes from the tap, or from steam passed through organic herbs. Who are they trying to fool?
Hydrosols are steam passed through plant material . QAI says this water is Organic if the steam goes through organically certified herbs. Fine. You just cannot count the water towards your organic percentage content. If you are confused please remember that in today's world, organic can mean made with only 70% organically certified ingredients. I am not saying hydrosols do not contain valuable molecules from plants, with many herbal and medicinal values. This is all good stuff, but if you want to call it organic, you still can't count the water.
There is a good reason for this. The organic rules were written so that a Pot Pie made with Organic Ingredients, is not using the water in the gravy as the main basis for their Organic claim. In a similar manner, if 70% of a lotion or shampoo is water, and organically certified water is the entire basis of the organic claim , it just ain't organic! In Europe, there are standards as to what constitutes a hydrosol. If we are running steam through our herbs, at what point do you turn off the steam? How much steam can you keep running through those same tired herbs all day? In America, the Wild West of personal care there are no rules , and we need some .
It is inappropriate to use tea water as the organic portion of a product. Organic is supposed to mean something. Organic is supposed to stand for something real. Something pure. Something you can trust.
Organic, What does it mean?
When the national guidelines for organic foods were being debated, people in the industry had a good handle on what organic meant for food. When it was proposed that farms that were dumping grounds for municipal sludge could be certified organic, that animals fed non organic feed could be labeled organic and so on, there was a big fight The organic industry united, over 250,000 signatures were garnered, and meaningful standards were adopted in the end.
In personal care the situation is different. Here, large corporate interests selling products labeled as natural and there is no definition of natural for personal care, are attempting to strong arm and outspend the majority of natural care producers, and users, who already have a good idea of what organic care products are and should be.
I am here today representing the Green Products Alliance, a coalition of one hundred manufacturers of high quality natural care products. We could easily throw in some hydrosols, slap on an organic sticker and raise the price. Yet our 100 companies are going on record today to tell these guys to HOLD THE WATER. Consumers want a meaningful definition of Organic, and we do too.
We don't need a new definition of organic. The old one works just fine. Most people already know what it means. You know what it means. Why do they want to change it? Money. Rape and pillage. The profit motive, and only the profit motive. Whatever happened to the dual bottom line - to do well while doing good?
What choices are YOU going to make? What do YOU want organic to mean? HOLD THE WATER Stand up and be counted. Sign the petition at the Organic Consumers Association web site. And tell them to HOLD THE WATER

David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps
DR. BRONNER'S MAGIC SOAPS
P.O. BOX 28
ESCONDIDO, CA 92033
TEL: (760) 743-2211
Fax: (760) 745-6675
allone@drbronner¸com
http://www.drbronner.com
The Bronner Family pledges to continue to responsibly produce the fine ecological soaps you have loved and lathered with for over 50 years, while sharing our profits with our workers and worthwhile causes worldwide. Dr. Bronners will be launching a new organic product line in the Fall of Dr. Bronner's spends at least 10% of its profits each year on many worthwhile causes and organizations. We have sponsored wells in Ghana, orphanages in China, and many other motivated groups and people doing amazing things. Our wonderful workers are compensated well and receive great benefits and bonuses; we also fully fund their California maximum 15% profit-sharing plan.
My name is David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Our company manufactures the top-selling soap in the natural marketplace, comprising such well-known retail chains as Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe's, along with thousands of smaller independent health food stores and co-operatives.

To support and encourage sustainable agriculture, farm worker health, and ecological processing methods, we have long sought to produce soap made from certified organic oils. We have finally sourced the quality and quantity of the relevant oils at good prices from certified organic sources. These new soaps are certified under the current USDA organic program for foods by Oregon Tilth, and will be launched next month.

Unfortunately, the hollow market-driven needs of some "natural" cosmetics companies are making a mockery of organic principles. Underneath feel-good "organic" floral waters and infusions, many "organic" body care products are composed of the same synthetic cleansers, conditioners and preservatives found in mainstream products, often in part or wholly derived from petroleum. Culprit companies are blowing up organic content by counting ordinary distilled water in "floral water" or "hydrosol" as organic, which is not allowed under the National Organic Program. The labels and marketing of these products are based on prominent organic claims. This hinders the market for body care products whose core ingredients are in fact organically certified and hence costlier, as they are not able to distinguish themselves from those that contain relatively cheap "organic" filler water.

We at Dr. Bronner's watched as the terms "soap" and "natural" were rendered into meaningless marketing terms over the years, such that most products now labeled and marketed as "natural liquid soaps" in the marketplace are in fact synthetic detergent blends that contain no soap whatsoever. The same companies are now doing the same thing to "organic". We are proud to stand up for rigorous organic standards along with other responsible companies and retailers, who are trying to do right by farmers and consumers. We are handing out samples of our new soaps at our booth here at Expo East, and we have a consumer flier available here for further review. Thank you for your time and interest.


Diana Kaye and Jim Hahn, Terressentials 100% Natural and Organic Body Care
TerrEssentials--Natural and Organic Personal Care Products
2650 Old National Pike, Middletown MD 21769-8817
301 371-7333 Fax: 301 371-5577
terressentials@mailworks.org
www.terressentials.com

Diana and James started their company in 1991. In 1996 they purchased a small sheep farm, opened their herbal products shop and began to produce and wholesale their products. Committed to organics, the partners were dismayed to see the word "organic" being used indiscriminately on more and more body care products that were filled with all manner of synthetic chemicals. Realizing that most people did not have the technical background that they had acquired, they began to write educational materials and to lecture on label reading and identifying problematic synthetic chemicals.

Good morning. My name is Diana Kaye and beside me is my partner James Hahn. We're the owners of TerrEssentials and we produce true organic personal care products on our organic farm in Middletown MD.

In our past lives Jim and I designed public buildings. Cancer is what changed our lives and gave us new careers, a new direction. In 1988 I was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was treated with a radical double-dose, experimental chemotherapy protocol. The tumor was shrunk, but I was left with a compromised and highly reactive immune system. I was told by the conventional doctors that I would need to take drugs every day for the rest of my life to deal with all of the health problems caused by the chemo, but I, and Jim, found this to be completely unacceptable.

We began to do research and applied our findings to our lives. As a result, we switched to all organic foods and became vegetarians. We used distilled water for all of our drinking and cooking needs. We stopped using chemical cleaning products and bought all of our personal care products at health food stores. With these changes, I experienced a great improvement in my health, with a few exceptions. I found that I was still having reactions to personal care products--shampoos, styling gels, body lotions, deodorants, etc. This really baffled us as we were buying products that were labeled as "natural" and even "organic." As we scrutinized the labels and researched ingredients in depth, we were shocked to learn that there was no legal definition of "natural." We were also disturbed to discover that the products that we thought were natural and organic were anything but!

In our search for wellness, we spoke to hundreds of people around the country who told us that, like us, they were looking for pure, chemical-free and real organic products that they could use to take care of their daily personal hygiene issues. I was having reactivity problems in my work as an interiors specialist as I was having reactions to chemical fumes from carpet, paint and wallcovering samples and Jim and I knew that, if I were to continue my progress in regaining my health, I would need to find a less toxic career. It seemed perfectly logical to start a business in which we could offer the finest quality, chemical-free and organic body care products to folks who didn't want to pollute their bodies or the environment. So, in 1996 we bought a sheep farm in Middletown MD, opened our herbal products shop and began producing our true organic personal care products.

Organic. What does the word organic mean to most people? In 2002 the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations went into effect and have been heavily promoted to consumers. Now, educated consumers expect that organic means grown, harvested and processed without harmful chemicals--without pesticides, herbicides, chemical preservatives, synthetic chemical flavorings or colorings and this is pretty much what they are getting--for food. Consumers are upset when they learn that the word that they value so much for their bread and their carrots has no meaning at all when they cross the store to buy their personal care products. Many people have asked how we can have the word organic used in health food stores and have two entirely different meanings.

Right now, anyone can walk into any health food store in this country and find products labeled with the word "organic" that bear official-looking seals that use the words "certified organic." When you read the ingredients listings you'll find lots and lots of water blended with many conventional personal care oleochemical and petrochemical detergents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, emollients, thickeners, foam boosters and preservatives. These are chemicals that are expressly prohibited in the National Organic Standards! How can this be? Well, here's how it happened...while everyone was getting all steamed up over sewage sludge, irradiation and pesticides during the debates surrounding the final writing of the organic regulations, someone slipped a one-sentence loophole into the fine print and most everybody missed it. The sentence, basically, said this: we're not going to regulate personal care products at this time." We're here today to tell everyone and the folks at the USDA that it's time to have personal care products that use the word "organic" on their labels comply with the current NOP regulations.

There are companies who are going to cry that they can't find organic materials to make their conventional body care products. We're here today to show you that a wide range of very fine body care products can be made with beautiful organic materials and they can be made according to the rules for food. Why is it important to follow the rules for food? Sixty percent of what is rubbed onto the skin is absorbed into the body within minutes. Think about how nicotine and hormone/birth control patches work. Even the army found that skin patches were a more effective than pills to deliver vitamins to troops too busy to eat. Educated people don't want to rub chemicals into their bodies and want their personal care products to be as pure as the food they eat, because, in a sense, we are eating our body care products--they are absorbed into our bodies. Think about this: when your bottle of body lotion is gone, where did it all go? You absorbed it! In addition to the chemicals that are absorbed into the body and washed off in our oceans, lakes and streams, 280 million Americans bathe every day dumping millions of gallons of body care chemicals into our drinking water with their morning showers.

Educated consumers read the newspapers, surf the net. These people know that we have problems in this country with pollution in our waterways. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified a huge problem with endocrine disruptors from personal care products in our waterways and is concerned about the neurotoxic and estrogenic effects on our population and our wildlife from these chemicals. In one EPA report, certain chemical preservatives were identified as particularly problematic. WE are disturbed to see these chemicals found in dozens of products labeled as "organic" and sold in stores across the country. We don't believe that this is what organic is supposed to be about.

Now, if you'll permit me to switch gears, I think it's time for a little organic fun. I thought that I would show you all a bit of my domestic side and share some of my home-baked eighty-nine grain 100% organic muffins. Just kidding! They're only seven grain. I thought that you might find it interesting to know that I baked these muffins with our own certified organic high-oleic sunflower oil. Even more interesting is to know that the sunflower oil in the muffins is the very same oil that is in this bottle of moisturizing body oil--my favorite is choco-mint! I'd like to demonstrate what real organic is all about. I'm going to pour a little of our organic body oil that is so lovely on the skin and is made with organic sunflower and coconut oils blended with organic cocoa butter and organic peppermint and spearmint essential oils on this muffin. A delightful bouquet and a finishing glaze. Delicious!

I also brought one of our new Body Cremes. These are so good, you almost expect that you should break out the fondue pot and dip some organic strawberries. Delectable!

This jar contains something leftover from dinner last night. I steamed some organic broccoli. It was very good. This is the water that was left over after steaming the broccoli. Has this water magically been transformed into "organic" water because it was used to steam the broccoli? No! The USDA NOP specifically states that water is not permitted to be called organic. They consider this water to be a processing aid and it cannot be used to inflate organic percentages in organic products. Curiously, in the body care arena, many companies are steaming broccoli flowers--oops, sorry, my error. Many companies are using lots of water to steam other flowers and are claiming that their steam water is a magic new organic ingredient. No matter how you look at it or how long you steam your broccoli, the water is still just water, with a little bit of broccoli in it.

By the way Jim and I washed our hair this morning with a soap and detergent-free clay-based and organic hair cleanser as we have every day since 1992. We smell clean and feel great because we bathed with true castile soap made from organically-grown oils and used a chemical-free deodorant. And, believe me, my skin feels very soft because we have beautiful organic body moisturizers.

Why are we here? To paraphrase Nick Cave: "In this town of men, with big mouths and no guts.." Jim and I are here to educate. Here is what organic must mean:

1. Products that are labeled as "organic" must follow the rules for food because we do absorb products through our skin.

2. The organic regulations state that products labeled as organic must not be harmful in their growth or processing or use to humans or the environment. Endocrine disrupting chemicals that are harmful to humans and our water supply should not be found in personal care products that are labeled as "organic."

3. To our friends at the USDA: it's time to have body care products follow the same organic rules as all other products do.

Thanks so much for your time. We have samples of our organic body care products and media packs for those of you who are interested.

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