SEATTLE — PCC Natural Markets here yesterday sent out letters notifying vendors and manufacturers of personal care products it will require compliance with ingredient criteria, as defined by the Natural Products Association Natural Standard. PCC is the largest natural foods cooperative in the U.S.
The NPA Natural Standard defines the term “natural” as it applies to ingredients in personal care products, including natural skin and hair care products. Although the natural personal care industry has grown significantly over recent years, use of the term “natural” never has been subject to regulation or certification by any government or industry entity. Manufacturers have been able to claim that products containing potentially harmful synthetic or petroleum-derived ingredients are natural.
“By requiring our personal care product manufacturers to comply with the NPA Natural Standard, we are adding another layer of scrutiny to our already stringent product procurement criteria,” said Wendy McLain, PCC’s health and beauty aids merchandiser. “To allow manufacturers time to evaluate and reformulate their products (if necessary), we’ve set the deadline for compliance as January 2010. After that, any personal care product not covered by a signed agreement may be discontinued.”
The required agreement states that manufacturers will not supply PCC with personal care products that do not comply with the NPA Natural Standard, that PCC will be notified if any product reformulations place those products in noncompliance, and that the manufacturer takes responsibility for staying current with future revisions of the NPA Natural Standard.
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