The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for providing oversight to accrediting certifying agents and their certification of organic production and handling operations. On an annual basis, AMS receives information about these operations from each of the accredited certifying agents. You can search for certified operations based on specific criteria here.
National Organic Program – Cosmetics, Body Care Products, and Personal Care Products
FDA does not define or regulate the term “organic,” as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products.
● USDA regulates the term “organic” as it applies to agricultural products through its National Organic Program (NOP) regulation, 7 CFR Part 205.
● If a cosmetic, body care product, or personal care product contains or is made up of agricultural ingredients, and can meet the USDA/NOP organic production, handling, processing and labeling standards, it may be eligible to be certifi ed under the NOP regulations.
● The operations which produce the organic agricultural ingredients, the handlers of these agricultural ingredients, and the manufacturer of the fi nal product must all be certifi ed by a USDA-accredited organic certifying agent.
● Once certified, cosmetics, personal care products, and body care products are eligible for the same 4 organic labeling categories as all other agricultural products, based on their organic content and other factors:
“100 percent organic”– Product must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
“Organic”– Product must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and salt). Remaining product ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the National List or nonorganically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form, also on the National List. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
“Made with organic ingredients”– Products contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients and product label
can list up to three of the organic ingredients or “food” groups on the principal display panel. For example,
body lotion made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and only organic herbs may be labeled either “body lotion made with organic lavender, rosemary, and chamomile,” or “body lotion made with organic herbs.” Products may not display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
Less than 70 percent organic ingredients– Products cannot use the term “organic” anywhere on the principal display panel. However, they may identify the specific ingredients that are USDA-certified as being organically produced on the ingredients statement on the information panel. Products may not display the USDA Organic Seal and may not display a certifying agent’s name and address. (Water and salt are also excluded here.)
Any cosmetic, body care product, or personal care product that does not meet the production, handling, processing, labeling, and certification standards described above, may not state, imply, or convey in any way that the product is USDA-certified organic or meets the USDA organic standards.
USDA has no authority over the production and labeling of cosmetics, body care products, and personal care products that are not made up of agricultural ingredients, or do not make any claims to meeting USDA organic standards.
Cosmetics, body care products, and personal care products may be certified to other, private standards and be marketed to those private standards in the United States. These standards might include foreign organic standards, eco-labels, earth friendly, etc. USDA’s NOP does not regulate these labels at this time.
The above information is from the US Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (NOP). Personal Care Truth was given permission to re-post.