NPA announces certification program

NEW YORK Public interest in the $7 billion natural personal care market continues to grow and, according to research, so does consumer confusion about what constitutes as a truly “natural” product. Aiming to end the uncertainty, the Natural Products Association announced on Thursday a new certification program that certifies natural and includes a seal.

“I am so proud to help create and lead the effort we think is monumental in this category,” Mike Indursky, Burt’s Bees chief marketing and strategic officer and committee chairperson, told members of the media at a press event in Manhattan to announce the initiative.

According to the association, shoppers will begin seeing the seal in the coming weeks or months. The exact timing will vary by manufacturer. As soon as a product is approved for the seal, it will be posted on the Natural Products Association Web site.

Under the program, products will be required to follow guidelines set out by the Natural Products Association in order to bear the seal. The criteria includes, but is not limited to:

  • Product must be made up of at least 95 percent truly natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources.
  • No ingredients with any potential suspected human health risks.
  • No processes that significantly or adversely alter the purity/effect of the natural ingredients.
  • Ingredients that come from a purposeful, renewable/plentiful source found in nature.
  • Processes that are minimal and don’t use synthetic/harsh chemicals or otherwise dilute purity.
  • Non-natural ingredients only when viable natural alternative ingredients are unavailable and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks.

To develop the Natural Products Association Standard, the advisory panel drew from a variety of sources, including relevant international standards, third-party organizations, existing research and years of experience in the field. Advisors to the association are natural personal care suppliers and manufacturers, including Burt’s Bees, Aubrey Organics, Badger Balm, Farmaesthetics, Trilogy Fragrances and Weleda.

“We felt as leaders in natural personal care we have a responsibility; that was the genesis for the NPA Standard for natural personal care,” said Indursky.

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