Organic can be defined as of or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin and raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals. Regulations regarding organic products are strictly enforced by the USDA in the United States. Other countries have government organizations that oversee organic certifications in their area of the world. The National Organic Program (NOP) by the USDA has a number of agencies that actually certify farmers and sellers of organic materials.
Farmers and manufacturers of organic ingredients must undergo a strict certification process in order to use the term organic. Some of the guidelines they must follow include the following:
• avoidance of most synthetic chemicals such as fertilizer, antibiotics, pesticides, additives, genetically modified organisms, irradiation, other than naturally derived
• use of farmland that has been free from synthetic chemicals for a three or more years
• keeping detailed written production and sales records
• maintaining strict separation of organic products from non-certified products
• undergoing periodic on-site inspections
Many people are searching for products that are made of organic materials. And many suppliers know this and offer a wide range of organic oils, essential oils, botanicals, and more for you to use in your products. One supplier that has an extensive listing of organic ingredients is From Nature With Love (FNWL). A quick search for the term brings up a very long list of FNWL’s organic oils, essential oils, and more.
However, just because you use organic ingredients does not mean you may call your product organic unless you are certified through the USDA to do so, even when just selling a product. For example, let’s say you make your soap using all organic oils, organic essential oils, and organic herbs for coloring. They are all certified organic ingredients from your favorite supplier. Unless you have become certified to sell organic materials, you are not permitted to call or advertise your soap as organic, except in the product’s ingredient statement (i.e. Ingredients: Almond oil, organic Lavendula Officinalis (lavender) oil, etc.) You are also permitted to list the percentage of organic ingredients on an informational panel of your product packaging, but not on the primary display panel or main side of the packaging. Failure to follow these rules can result in fines of up to $10,000. So be very careful when using the term to promote your organically made products.