Coming Clean

The Coming Clean Campaign is encouraging retailers to take action to address widespread organic labeling fraud in their health and beauty care aisles.

Many brands make organic claims on products whose main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients are composed in significant part of petrochemicals.

In June 2010, Whole Foods Market took a bold and meaningful step on behalf of organic integrity when it adopted a new requirement for its suppliers that will force major organic cheater brands to drop their bogus organic claims.

Whole Foods Market’s policy on the organic labeling of personal care products states:

"We believe that the ‘organic’ claim used on personal care products should have a 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."

Whole Foods’ new policy mandates that "Organic" or "Made with Organic Ingredients " claims must be certified under the USDA National Organic Program, just like food. A more limited "Contains Organic Ingredients" claim for personal care may be certified under the NSF ANSI 305 standard. Organic claims that are not certified, including "Organics" in branding, will not be allowed.

Brands were required to meet an August 1, 2010 deadline to explain how they would change their labeling or formulations to comply with the new standard. They have until June 2011 to be in full compliance. Brands that did not submit a plan to come clean are expected to be dropped from store shelves.

Retailers selling non-certified "organic" cosmetics face a choice. They can follow Whole Foods’ lead and require truthful labels, or they can continue to enable organic fraud. Consumers will look unfavorably on retailers that duck responsibility and continue to profit from the organic cheater brands that rip off their customers.

What will your store do?


Ask retailers to adopt Organic Body Care and Cosmetics Integrity Policies!

Find out which local stores have Organic Body Care and Cosmetics Integrity Policies