On Feb. 10, 2011, NSF International and NATRUE announced that they "have partnered to develop the first American national standard for natural personal care products." However, such a standard has existed for several years.
In 2008, the Natural Standard for Personal Care Products was launched by the Natural Products Association (NPA), an organization dedicated to providing consumers with accurate, credible, science-based information about what is or is not a natural product. Since then, the NPA Natural Seal has helped consumers cut through the clutter and easily identify truly natural personal care and home care products.
John Gay, NPA executive director and CEO, says, "NPA is here to help the consumer, not confuse them. A second seal with different standards does no service to natural products customers, retailers or manufacturers. The NPA certification program has been a huge success, with hundreds of products and ingredients earning our coveted natural seal. We've earned the support of more than 45 companies, both large and small. NPA-certified products appear in tens of thousands of stores, ranging from independent retailers to some of the largest chains in the country."
Gay adds, "It is also unfortunate and puzzling that NATRUE and NSF International made their announcement in a way that could so easily be misconstrued by the public. As NPA and NATRUE had multiple discussions on mutual recognition of our standards, NATRUE and NSF no doubt know that the United States already has a successful natural standard, and any standard they developed could not be called the ‘first.' I certainly hope their choice of words was not meant to intentionally mislead anyone."
Cara Welch, Ph.D., NPA director of scientific and regulatory affairs, says, "The NPA Natural Seal is the nationally-recognized standard for natural products sold in the U.S. Before developing the seal, we consulted with a team of manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and experts in the natural products industry. The NPA seal enjoys wide support across the industry, and more and more consumers are looking for it on their favorite products."
Welch adds, "NPA is helping millions of Americans find personal care products that are truly natural. We should ask ourselves, how does another standard help the consumer? How can it help to have multiple seals in the marketplace? Is this other standard being proposed because NPA's standards are too high?"
The NPA Natural Seal is awarded to products that achieve the 95 percent science-based standard as certified by independent third-party auditors. NPA certified products use natural ingredients, avoid ingredients with health risks, don't use animal testing and include a majority of biodegradable or recycled material in the packaging. Products with the NPA seal also list all ingredients on the package label.
NPA has certified more than 600 products and ingredients under the NPA Natural Seal. Last year, nearly 1 million people visited the NPA website looking for information about natural products. NPA helps consumers find nearby retailers with the Natural Products Store Locator, the most popular section of the NPA website. The NPA Natural Seal has been featured in national news stories reaching millions of people, including the New York Times, O The Oprah Magazine, Elle, "The Doctors" and the "CBS Early Show."
Source: Natural Products Association (NPA)