According to Organic Spa Magazine, there are a growing number of organizations around the world that seek to certify cruelty-free, natural, organic and/or sustainable products and processes. Six of those have labels you will see often here in the U.S., including Demeter, Leaping Bunny, Natural Products Association, NSF, Oregon Tilth and USDA Organic.
As with eggs, these labels can be difficult to understand and keep straight. But better familiarizing yourself with their logos and standards will help you make more informed shopping choices for yourself and your family. Let’s take a closer look.
DEMETER USA demeter-usa.org
Certification Type: Biodynamic
Demeter Association, Inc. is the United States’ representative of Demeter International whose mission is to enable people to farm successfully in accordance with Biodynamic® practices and principles. The Demeter Biodynamic® Farm Standard reflects the Biodynamic principle of the farm as a living organism: self-contained, self-sustaining, following the cycles of nature. In order for a farm to refer to itself as Biodynamic, it must have achieved certification through Demeter by adhering to the Demeter Farm Standard for a minimum of three years if conventionally farmed, or a minimum of one year if organically farmed. The entire farm must be certified, not just a portion of land within the farm. Demeter provides the legal definition of BIODYNAMIC in the U.S. marketplace. In order for a commercial farm or agricultural-based product to legally use the term in reference to its farm or products, it must have obtained certification through Demeter, and be re-certified every year.
LEAPING BUNNY LOGO leapingbunny.org
Certification Type: No Animal Testing
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program administers a cruelty-free standard and the internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo for companies producing cosmetic, personal care, and household products. The Leaping Bunny Program provides the best assurance that no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers. Visit CCIC for a current list of certified companies.
Certification Type: Natural
Business Type: Non-Profit. Membership required.
NPA requires a minimum of 95 percent natural origin for the “Natural” standard. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed. It does not have a standard for organic certification.
Certification Type: Contains Organic
NSF ANSI 305 standard requires 70 percent organic ingredients to comply with the “contains organic” standard. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed. It excludes water and salt in calculation of organic content.
OREGON TILTH tilth.org
Certification Type: Organic
Oregon Tilth exists to support and promote biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture through education, research, advocacy, and certification. It advocates sustainable approaches to agricultural production systems and processing, handling and marketing. Oregon Tilth’s purpose is to educate gardeners, farmers, legislators, and the general public about the need to develop and use sustainable growing practices that promote soil health, conserve natural resources, and prevent environmental degradation while producing a clean and healthful food supply for humanity. Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) is an internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity. OTCO provides a system that combines strict production standards, on-site inspections, and legally binding contracts to protect the producers and buyers of organic products. It is now accredited to offer the NSF 305 standard for personal care products containing organic ingredients.
USDA NOP ams.usda.gov
Certification Type: 100 percent Organic, Organic, and Made with Organic
USDA NOP is a food standard for organic and made with organic ingredients. “100 percent organic” must contain only organically produced ingredients. “Organic” must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. “Made with Organic Ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed in the “Organic” and “Made with Organic” standard. It excludes water and salt in calculation of organic content.