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Headlines > Regulation & Safety

NSF wades into natural standard debate

By Andrew McDougall , 21-Feb-2011
Last updated on 21-Feb-2011 at 17:32 GMT

NSF International has voiced its views on its partnership with Natrue and responded to the Natural Products Association’s (NPA) claims that the collaboration is confusing.

Last week NPA accused NSF and Natrue of misleading consumers, claiming its Natural Standard for Personal Care products, was the first certification in the US.

Previously Natrue and NSF had teamed up to develop what it said would be the first natural standard in the US, aimed at moving towards a global definition of the term ‘natural’.

‘Not an official standard’

NSF has responded to the NPA criticim by stating its standard is not an official American National Standard.

NSF explained it is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop official American National Standards using an open, transparent consensus-based process.

The NSF and Natrue Standard, to which both bodies have stated is open for NPA to participate, will be developed by a joint committee with representation from all interested stakeholders and will undergo a public comment period.

It will then be recognized as the only official American National Standard for Natural Personal Care, according to NSF.

Currently no global definition of ‘natural’

“There currently is no regulatory or a globally-recognized definition for the term ‘natural’. The new NSF/Natrue American National Standard will define the use of the term ‘natural,’ helping to protect and promote authentic and quality natural personal care products,” explained Kelly Nichols, communication co-ordinator at NSF.

Nichols explained that because this standard will be a public standard, manufacturers will be able to choose from a number of certifying bodies to have their products certified to the standard.

Additionally, she said that manufacturers who make both natural and organic personal care products will be able to go to one certifier for their certification needs.

The NPA Natural Seal is awarded to products that achieve the 95 percent science-based standard as certified by independent third-party auditors.

Its certified products use natural ingredients, avoid ingredients with health risks, don’t use animal testing, include a majority of biodegradable or recycled material in the packaging, as well as list all ingredients on the package label.

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