The ACCC has recently announced a crackdown on companies claiming to be organic but are misleading their customers as to their contents, especially when they contain a mix of organic and non-organic ingredients. This just highlights the many misleading claims that consumers face each day believing that products are what they say they are and how very important it is to have truth on labelling.

In Australia, it is not legally required for a product to be certified to be described as organic, however, any claims that are made by the product must be substantiated, and the labelling must not be false, misleading or deceptive.

One of the important things about organic products is not only what goes in them, but also what is left out.  Consumers understand that organic products are made around the philosophy that their ingredients are centred around caring for the environment, without relying upon synthetic chemicals, mineral oils, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), that they contain ingredients that are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics, and that any preservatives and emulsifiers used in organic products to extend shelf life are similarly based on the same standards.

Organic certification programs were set up in Australia from the 1980s to ensure that what was claimed to be organic met these expectations and standards. It required an independent setting of standards and an independent team of assessors (known as auditors or inspectors) to ensure that farmers, processors, manufacturers and brand owners were complying with the same rules and regulations.

Consumers cannot be guaranteed that a product is organic unless it displays an organic certification logo such as the Australian Certified Organic bud logo. An organic certification logo protects consumers from misleading claims and is the mark of a genuine organic product which has been independently audited all along the production chain to comply with strict organic standards which can be accessed by consumers.

So, when you are looking for a truly authentic product and want to ensure that it is organic, you should look out for the certified organic symbol which demonstrates that the product has met and, in some cases, exceeded minimum requirements. Most importantly, that the remaining non-organic content (for example, preservatives that extend shelf life) adhere to allowable ingredients within the standards that excludes synthetic chemicals.

Although this all sounds simple, it is far from easy and thus the reason why many brands do not go to the ends of the earth like Little Innoscents, to produce a beautiful range of products that adhere to the following organic standards

The little Innoscents skincare range holds two certifications from Australian Certified Organic (ACO)

  • 95%-100% certified organic – holds ACO full organic logo
  • 70%-95% certified organic content, uses ACO beauty logo

While certification is not legally required for a product supplied in Australia to be described as organic, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said businesses must be able to substantiate claims that a product is organic.  Consumers purchasing organic products should be able to feel confident that the ingredients are in fact organic.

ENDS.

Little Innoscents is an Australian, Melbourne-based company, producing certified organic baby skincare, as well as natural cleaning and aromatherapy products for the home. For more information, product requests or interviews please contact: [email protected] or visit www.littleinnoscents.com.au

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