By Valenti Organics won’t renew its USDA organic certification.

Published on September 25th, 2015 - Updated July 16, 2016 6 Comments

At By Valenti Organics we’re deeply committed to offer safe, ethically manufactured, high performance, natural cosmetics, made with the best ingredients our bountiful planet has to offer, always backed up by science, and always with one mayor goal in mind, the safety of our customers.

Despite the almost 2 years incredibly and unnecessarily complicated, costly, faulty and bureaucratic process, in March of 2014, 5 of our products received the USDA Organic Certification. We thought Certified Organic meant something positive, and it is for food, but for cosmetics we believe is just one more costly pretty seal that brings no assurance a product is actually safe.

The USDA Organic Certification has no meaning for cosmetics

The USDA Organic Seal offers cosmetic consumers the idea the products they’re purchasing are free from contaminants. Through a set of relatively strict regulations, a product becomes certified organic if and only if the count of organic ingredients matches the requirements or standards for either Made with Organic (product must contain no less than 70% of organic ingredients), Organic (product must contain no less than 95% of organic ingredients) or 100% Organic (product must contain no less than 100% of organic ingredients). These standards look great, but were conceived and are designed for food production, not for cosmetics. When it comes to cosmetics the illusion a product is safe because it displays the USDA Organic seal in particular on water-based cosmetics quite often goes out the window.

The USDA NOP does not regulate nor controls the cosmetic industry in any way.

When it comes to cosmetics, the USDA NOP does not control, certifies or verifies a product is safe or free of contaminants, just that the count of organic ingredients matches their standards, and that production regulations, which were not conceived for cosmetics but food production, are met. (1)

Only by going through the certification process we were able to realize this seal isn’t what we thought it would be, nor brings consumers peace of mind in our self-regulated cosmetics industry.

Manufacturers of cosmetics, must comply with safety regulations and guidelines established by the FDA, at least in theory, as the FDA does not regulate nor certifies any cosmetic manufacturer either. The FDA assumes every brand and formulator is complying with these guidelines and only would inspect facilities that have registered for the FDA’s Voluntary Cosmetics Registration Program on a case by case basis. (2, 3)

Cosmetic products must be manufactured following a set of standards and those containing water, or water-based ingredients also known as water-based cosmetics — lotions, creams, shampoos, etc — must contain proper preservation systems (preservatives) to impede pathogens (bacteria and mould) from growing in them for relatively long periods of times even after opened (3, 6 or 9 months). Cosmetics products that do not contain preservatives and grow pathogens are deemed as “containing filth” by the FDA. Most of the preservatives regularly used in cosmetics, are not authorized to be used on products seeking USDA organic certification. So any cosmetics formulator wanting to achieve organic certification for their water-based formulas, more times than not, must leave out important preservatives, inevitably putting consumer’s well being at risk, violating FDA regulations in the process. (4)

There is a big difference between producing food and formulating cosmetics. Although apparently the same thing, producing food requires less preservatives than formulating cosmetics. For example, an eye lotion manufactured without preservatives yet meeting the USDA NOP Organic or 100% Organic standard, will grow bacteria and mould within a very short period of time after being formulated, contaminating the product and putting the well being of consumers at high risk for eye infections and even blindness. On the other hand a jar of certified organic food (pick any food) can be safely preserved vacuum sealed with little preservatives, stored in the refrigerator after opened for 1 week without posing any risk to consumers.

Not all Certified Organic cosmetics are created equal

USDA Certified Organic cosmetics imply a standard of purity, that can only as it is right now, be achieved on oil based products where preservatives aren’t required. If they perform as intended or are safe is of no concern to the USDA. That responsibility relies entirely in the hands of the cosmetic formulator and it’s assumed such formulator is manufacturing in compliance with FDA guidelines at all times.

Even though By Valenti’s 5 certified organic products comply with both USDA and FDA guidelines, are safe and perform as intended, and because of the number of flaws in the USDA Organic production standards when it comes to cosmetics, we believe the organic certification as it stands at the moment, isn’t for cosmetics or for us, and we have decided not to renew it.

By Valenti Organics will continue pushing for innovation and high standards

Parting away from the USDA Organic Seal in reality means nothing for us here at BVO. Our goals, manufacturing ethics and core values haven’t changed. We will continue using organically grown ingredients as much as possible, we will continue keeping dubious ingredients out, and we will continue pushing for innovation when it comes to cosmetics.

Manuela Valenti - CEO & Founder



Manuela Valenti is a Psychopedagogist, Professional International Artist, Fashion Model, soon to be Chemist, wife and mother of 3. She is the CEO and founder of By Valenti Organics, Manuela Valenti Studio & Gallery and other companies.


http://www.byvalenti.com


Friday, September 25th, 2015  |   permalink  |   6 Comments  |  
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6 Comments... add yours

  • Namn says:

    I must say I’m impressed by your announcement. Mostly because it shows a level of ethics and commitment almost unheard of these days, especially in America.

    I’ve never believed much on the organic seal, mostly because of the sick control our government has on the word itself, so kudos to you for the bravery in parting away from a fake organization.

    • BVOrganics says:

      Hello Namn. We don’t necessarily believe the USDA NOP is a fake organization. The work they do in terms of food and farming is good. We just don’t believe they should be certifying cosmetics particularly water-based cosmetics, until they update their standards to include stricter controls for cosmetics that would encompass FDA regulations. The USDA NOP shouldn’t be certifying cosmetics that violate FDA regulations, but unfortunately they do. Both government agencies should close the gap that’s putting consumers at risk.

  • lina says:

    Are you actually implying certified organic cosmetics aren’t safe???????? This is the most absurd thing I’ve read in a while.

    • BVOrganics says:

      Lina, when it comes to water based cosmetics some certified organic cosmetics might not be safe. To manufacture safe water based cosmetics preservatives MUST be used, otherwise the risk of growing mould and bacteria increases. Many of the preservatives used in cosmetics aren’t allowed by the USDA NOP. Unfortunately many brands are skipping the use of the preservatives altogether, formulating cosmetics that completely violate FDA regulations putting consumers at risk for bacterial and mould contamination, just to get the organic seal on their products.

  • Love this post, wish this information was plastered at every cosmetic counter. Just last week, I used a considered natural mascara and my eyes broke out into a rash because of hidden toxins. Knowing the standard of ingredients and ethics behind the company is truly important. Thanks for sharing this!!!

    • BVOrganics says:

      Thank you for stopping by. Only with the help of our readers this important information can go viral, so please feel free to share! Everyone needs to know, when it comes to cosmetics the USDA Organic Seal means nothing when it comes to safety.
      I’m sorry to learn of your bad experience. Unfortunately experiences like yours have become quite common and are on the rise. Until the USDA NOP and the FDA together sit down to draft a new set of standards only for the cosmetic industry that puts the well being of consumers first, harmful products with the USDA Organic Seal will continue to sell.
      As a company we went through the [costly] realization the USDA Organic Seal for cosmetics isn’t what it has being portrayed to be, a solution to an unregulated cosmetic industry, but it just isn’t.

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