Companies to Develop New Certification Program for Natural Personal Care Products; Association Argues Against It

February 15, 2011

Following an announcement by NSF International (Ann Arbor, MI) and NaTrue (Brussels, Belgium) that the companies plan to develop a new certification program for natural personal care products, the Natural Products Association has spoken out against the initiative.

Following an announcement by NSF International (Ann Arbor, MI) and NaTrue (Brussels, Belgium) that the companies plan to develop a new certification program for natural personal care products, the Natural Products Association has spoken out against the initiative.

“Personal care in the United States will finally have a national standard for natural personal care products that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute,” NSF International and NaTrue stated.

NSF International, a U.S. testing and certification organization, will lead the development of the standard according to NaTrue criteria.

“There is no globally recognized definition of ‘natural’ in personal care products,” stated Julie Tyyrell, NaTrue’s general director. “That is why NaTrue set out four years ago to define strict criteria that are in agreement with consumers’ expectations towards authentic natural cosmetics.”

However, the Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, DC) has argued that a standard for natural beauty products already exists-that is, NPA’s own seal for natural personal care and home care products, developed in 2008. Currently, says NPA, it is “the first and only natural certification in the United States.”

The association argues that introducing another seal for natural personal care products would confuse the marketplace.

“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,” says NPA’s executive director John Gay. “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.”

“We should ask ourselves, how does another standard help the consumer?” adds Cara Welch, PhD, NPA’s director of scientific and regulatory affairs. “How can it help to have multiple seals in the marketplace? Is this other standard being proposed because NPA’s standards are too high?”