Soil Association pushes for legal requirements

Published: 24-Jun-2014

COSMOS-standard calls for legally recognised standard for labelling of natural and organic products

The Cosmetic Organic Standard (COSMOS-standard), an arm of the Soil Association which brings together several other certification bodies to form an over-arching standard, is calling for a legally recognised standard for the labelling of natural and organic products.

The aim behind the COSMOS-standard is to address the needs of consumers by clarifying the various standards, certifications and labels used to identify natural and organic products. Most importantly, the organisation is calling for the creation of legal guidelines and requirements, where there are currently none, relating to the percentage of organic ingredients that a product must contain in order to be labelled as such. This is to stop manufacturers and brands labelling products as organic when they sometimes contain less than 1% organic ingredients. According to Emma Reinhold, spokesperson for the Soil Association, the International Organization for Standardization is currently working towards the implementation of a legally recognised definition.

Under the Soil Association's (and therefore the COSMOS-standard's) guidelines, if a product contains 70-95% organic ingredients, it can be certified, though cannot include the word 'organic' in its name, and will be labelled as 'made with' organic ingredients. It also must state the percentage of organic ingredients in the product description. A product can only be labelled as certified organic if it contains over 95% organic ingredients.

The other member bodies that make up the COSMOS-standard are BDIH, COSMEBIO, ECOCERT and ICEA.

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