Dr. Bronner’s says NSF organic certification will stop misbranding

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dr. bronner, Product certification, Legal terms

The recently approved NSF organic certification is a step towards determining what constitutes an organic cosmetic and stamping out misbranding, claims proponent Dr. Bronner’s.

The maker of Magic Soaps says that it is continuing to fight the OASIS certification body through the San Fransico Superior Court over allegedly misleading claims made by 10 personal care companies pertaining to organic branding.

The latest round in this long-fought saga has seen Dr. Bronner's, which is fighting the case under the name All One God Faith (AOGF), claim victory over the fact that the courts have thrown out the defendents' claims that California’s Unfair Competition Law was not applicable to their claims over organic branding.

The defendants are some of the biggest names in the US naturals category, including Hain Celestial – which holds the Jason and Avalon natural and organic brands – Kiss My Face, Giovanni and Country Life – which holds the Desert Essence brand.

Long-standing court battle

These companies are seeking the dismissal of the original lawsuit which was filed in San Francisco Superior Court in May 2008, but the latest ruling will be a setback.

The case now moves into the discovery phase, in which Dr. Bronner’s will request the defendants to clearly state exactly what they mean by their stated organic claims.

In its case Dr. Bronner’s is demanding that the manufacturers should be able to claim that ingredients are at least 70 percent organic and made with organic compounds without petrochemicals if they are to state ‘Made with Organic’ on the label.

'Organic' content must reach 95 percent

Likewise, the company says that to be awarded a straight ‘Organic’ label, then these products should contain at least 95 percent organic-based ingredients, specifically with reference to the main cleansing ingredients.

On a parallel front, Dr. Bronner’s has been a staunch supporter of the NSF/ANSI 305: Made with Organic Personal Care Products standard, which was formally adopted in the US market place last month.

Billed by the NSF as a step towards much needed harmonization, it incorporates the 70 percent and 95 percent rules that Dr. Bronner’s is pushing in its Californian court case.

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