Natural Beauty Summit hones in on regulatory issues

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Natural beauty summit Cosmetics Organic food

The second Natural Beauty Summit will open its doors in New York
next week, where organizers are expecting regulatory issues
relating to natural and organic cosmetics to top many delegates'

Currently manufacturers are being inundated with choice concerning natural and organic standards, which is leading many of the industries key players to make calls for a more cohesive certification process.

Pivotal to these calls has been a recent announcement by the Natural Products Association, which is launching its own standard for natural cosmetics.

The body's 'seal of approval' aims to identify cosmetic products that have fulfilled its standards for products that contain enough natural or organic ingredients to be certified as such.

Natural or not?

The move aims to cut down on the estimated 80 percent of cosmetics products that are currently being marketed in the US as natural or organic but don't actually have the required 95 percent level of natural ingredients.

Indeed, one of the most high profile natural players in the US market, Dr. Bronners's Magic Soaps filed a lawsuit only last month against both certification bodies and personal care players to highlight this kind of shortfall.

The Natural Beauty Summit's Standards and Regulatory Issues session will take place in the afternoon of May 15, on the first day of the three day program and will be addressing some of the reasons for the shortfall as well as looking at solutions.

Jointly organized by Beyond Beauty and Organic Monitor, the summit will be split into four segments, looking at the current US regulatory framework, marketing, product claims and labeling, developing an American natural standard, an update on the USDA standard and European harmonization.

Speakers for this segment of the conference come from both certification bodies - including the WWD, NSF, OASIS, and NaTrue - as well as from key natural and organic players.

Highlighting some of the main issues specific to organics regulation, Gay Simmons, chair of the Oasis board, will be giving a presentation 'Developing an Organic Personal Care Standard'.

Defining a natural or organic product Simmons, alongside many of her counterparts, will be highlighting how a natural or organic cosmetic product is defined, outlining which specific ingredients are permitted and which are not.

This line of discussion will lead into harmonization, which is particularly pressing in Europe, where new standards are expected to be announced in June of this year.

Tapping into this area, representatives from key European certification bodies, including Ecocert and the Soil Association, will be giving an update on how the European harmonization plans are shaping up.

Ending the session will be a standards presentation that will include a panel discussion looking into the possibility of global harmonization for natural and organic standards.

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