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ECOCERT responds to new ISO Standard for Organic and Natural Cosmetics 09 January 2018   Following the recent release of the second part of the ISO 16128 Standard for Organic and Natural Cosmetics, the ECOCERT Group, the global leader in organic agriculture and cosmetics certification, has released the following clarifications. The clarifications read: “Although little known by consumers, ISO standards are renowned for their reliability in industrial sectors. Their global reach facilitates market harmonisation and structuring when, for instance, there are no national regulations. That is why, in order to contribute to the advancement of organic and natural cosmetics and striving to promote the fundamental values of organic agriculture and cosmetics, ECOCERT has taken part, since 2010, in the development of this new standard. ECOCERTwas present in the work group that formulated the standard and was consistently opposed to all proposals considered contrary to, or diverting excessively from, the intrinsic values of organic agriculture and regrets that certain provisions have been adopted and published in the Standard after all. “Without denying the importance of this new standard, the ECOCERT Group wishes to warn about three provisions in particular which could be misleading: • The certification as a «natural ingredient» of ingredients derived from GMOs, including in Europe. Ingredients coming from GMOs account today for a considerable part of conventional cosmetics' components. • Permitting the use of petrochemical substances (parabens, petrochemical solvents, etc.) in the composition of all products (including those with a natural origin or organic origin index). • Establishing a method for calculating natural and organic origin indexes could lead to misleading information about the content of organic and/or natural ingredients in a product. This method of calculation will allow, for instance, to calculate a natural or organic origin index for a product, even if none of its ingredients are really natural or certified as organic.” Says Valérie Lemaire, GM, ECOCERT Greenlife: “Nowadays, in many countries, it's the demanding private standards associated to equally demanding certifications that have made it possible to gain consumers’ trust about natural and organic cosmetics. The emergence of organic cosmetics all around the world is the fruit of the long-standing effort of teams of experts. Within this context of established trust, it would be counter-productive and harmful to let consumers think that a product claiming to be made of 20% organic ingredients and 80% GMOs or petrochemical ingredients – without any guarantee that it is environmentally friendly – could be certified as organic. It's true that in Europe the risk of misleading consumers seems low, but that is not the case in non-European countries where standards are often non- existent and/or consumers are less aware of these issues.”
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