United States Department of Agriculture Marketing Service
National Organic Program
Cosmetics, Body Care Products, and Personal Care Products:
• FDA does not define or regulate the term “organic,” as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products.
• USDA regulates the term “organic” as it applies to agricultural products through its National Organic Program(NOP) regulation, 7 CFR Part 205.
• If a cosmetic, body care product, or personal care product contains or is made up of agricultural ingredients,and can meet the USDA/NOP organic production, handling, processing and labeling standards, it may be eligible to be certified under the NOP regulations.
• The operations which produce the organic agricultural ingredients, the handlers of these agricultural ingredients, and the manufacturer of the final product must all be certified by a USDA-accredited organic certifying agent.
Once certified, cosmetics, personal care products, and body care products are eligible for the same 4 organic labeling categories as all other agricultural products, based on their organic content and other factors:
• “100 percent organic”: Product must contain (excluding water and salt) only organically produced ingredients. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
• “Organic”: Product must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients (excluding water and
salt). Remaining product ingredients must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the National List or non- organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form, also on the National List. Products may display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
• “Made with organic ingredients”: Products contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients and product label can list up to three of the organic ingredients or “food” groups on the principal display panel. For example, body lotion made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients (excluding water and salt) and only organic herbs may be labeled either “body lotion made with organic lavender, rosemary, and chamomile,” or “body lotion made with organic herbs.” Products may not display the USDA Organic Seal and must display the certifying agent’s name and address.
• Less than 70 percent organic ingredients: Products cannot use the term “organic” anywhere on the principal display panel. However, they may identify the specific ingredients that are USDA-certified as being organically produced on the ingredients statement on the information panel. Products may not display the USDA Organic Seal and may not dis- play a certifying agent’s name and address. (Water and salt are also excluded here.)
• Any cosmetic, body care product, or personal care product that does not meet the production, handling, processing, labeling, and certification standards described above, may not state, imply, or convey in any way that the product is USDA-certified organic or meets the USDA organic standards.
• USDA has no authority over the production and labeling of cosmetics, body care products, and personal care products that are not made up of agricultural ingredients, or do not make any claims to meeting USDA organic standards.
• Cosmetics, body care products, and personal care products may be certifi ed to other, private standards and be market- ed to those private standards in the United States. These standards might include foreign organic standards, eco-labels, earth friendly, etc. USDA’s NOP does not regulate these labels at this time.