Naturals: The Case for Natural Personal Care Standards

A Bit of (Truthful) History

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 was signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt amidst a burgeoning public outcry for consumer protection from quack cures and cosmetic products that caused harm rather than cured or enhanced the user. The act was designed to protect the public from products that made unsubstantiated or fraudulent claims, or that caused harm due to inclusion of harmful ingredients. The act covered the broad scope of both what is consumed or ingested as food and those ingredients that are used to treat, cure or enhance cosmetically.

Though this new law made it illegal for manufacturers to include potentially harmful ingredients in products, it wasn’t until it was amended to include the Pesticide Amendment of 1954, the Food Additives Amendment of 1958 and the Color Additive Amendments of 1960, that the law became more specific, requiring manufacturers to use only ingredients (including additives and color) in manufacturing that prior research revealed to be safe for public consumption. Additionally, the Fair Packaging Act of 1967 introduced strict labeling guidelines, which required manufacturers to own up to ingredients used in the manufacturing and processing of their products, and to this end to be accountable to a certain standard and disclosure to the buying public.

Other topics discussed: The “Green” Movement; Organic Standards for Personal Care; The Standards Challenge: Balancing Product Expectations with Available (Certified) Ingredients; Natural Personal Care Standards; The Whole Foods Effect

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