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Natural Products Industry Needs To Toughen Its Standards For Use Of “Natural” Label

March 19, 2010: 04:30 AM EST
The term “natural” – which unlike “organic” is not strictly defined by any federal or state agency – is being applied to so many questionable products that consumers should ignore it, says green advocate Dianne MacEachern. A voluntary standard developed by the natural products industry is a “step in the right direction,” she says, but it doesn’t go far enough. The Natural Products Association (NPA) standard says naturals cannot contain phthalates and formaldehyde or synthetic colors and flavors, nor can they be processed with harsh or toxic chemicals. But there are key problems: the standard is voluntary, it ignores a product’s life cycle, and was developed without input from consumers or independent scientists. Besides fixing those problems, a tougher NPA standard should ban antibacterials and be popularized via the media, MacEachern advises.
Diane MacEachern, "The Problems with 'Natural' Products -- and How to Fix Them", GreenBiz.com, March 19, 2010, © Greener World Media - GreenBiz.com®
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