Today we’ll be learning about what it takes to get the USDA organic certification with my guests Diana Kaye and James Hahn. We’ll be talking about locating a certifier, preparing the organic system plan, compiling documentation, maintaining records, inspections, and everything else that must be done to get organic certification. This husband-and-wife are co-founders of their USDA certified organic business Terressentials. They own a small organic farm in lovely Middletown Valley, Maryland and have operated their organic herbal personal care products business there since 1996. Terressentials was originally started in Virginia in 1992. It grew out of their search for chemical-free products after Diana’s personal experience with cancer and chemotherapy in 1988. Prior to Diana’s cancer, they were involved in commercial architecture in Washington DC. Diana and James are proud to be an authentic USDA certified organic and Fair Made USA business. They are obsessive organic researchers and artisan handcrafters of more than one hundred USDA certified organic gourmet personal care products that they offer through their two organic stores in Frederick County, Maryland, through a network of select retail partners across the US, and to customers around the world via their informative web site. www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/terressentials
- GMOs in Personal Care Products
- Toxics in Essential Oils?
- How to Restore Your “Virgin Hair”
- How to Read a Label on Organic Personal Care Products
- More About “Organic”: Politics and the Regulation of Marketplace Distribution
- What Organic Means — From the Experience of Being Organic Farmers
- Why One Couple Decided to Get an Organic Farm and Make USDA Certified Organic Gourmet Personal Care Products
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
The Challenges of Achieving Organic Certification
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Diana Kaye and James Hahn
Date of Broadcast: August 20, 2014
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic-free. Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the broadest toxic-free areas of products that you can choose from and one of the most regulated and that’s organic. Whether it’s organic food or fibers or personal care products, there are a lot of regulations for organic.
My guests today are from Terressentials, Diana Kaye and James Hahn and we’ll be talking about what they have to go through in order to be a USDA certified organic farm and make you USDA certified organic products.
Hi, Diana and James.
James Hahn: Hi, Debra.
Diana Kaye: Hi, Debra.
DEBRA: Nice to have you on again. And listeners, they’ve already been on twice talking about their experiences with what organic means and why they decided to get their organic farm and all kinds of things about organic we’ve already talked about.
So today, what we’re going to be talking about is the challenges of achieving their organic certification, what that’s like.
And so where would you like to start with that?
Diana Kaye: Well, first of all, perhaps I could clarify the types of certification that folks could get.
DEBRA: Yes, please do.
Diana Kaye: How about that?
DEBRA: Great, great.
Diana Kaye: So in our particular instance, although we do live on a farm and we’re situated here with our crafting studio operating in lovely Maryland, we actually have three separate operations going on here.
We do grow organic flowers. We’re not certified for the flowers however. The flowers are something that we sell in our retail store and we do also use our land here for doing experiments with herbs and flowers for research purposes, for things that we might consider using in our personal care products or other types of products down the road.
And so the types of certification that are available – oh, we also make our personal care products. That’s the second thing that we do. And the third thing that we do is that we own and operate two retail stores that feature our products and other fair trade handcrafts and some other organic certified and fair trade good.
Diana Kaye: So the types of certification that are available to a business are the one that I think that most people are familiar with, which is a ‘certified organic processor or grower’. A grower would be someone who is a farmer who would grow either plants or raise livestock or even grow raw materials such as cotton or hemp that could be certified organic and then further processed into a textile.
There’s a third type of certification – I’m sorry, a second one, which would be called a ‘certified organic processor and/or handler’. What a processor is someone who takes those tomatoes that come from the farm or the cocoa butter that comes from the farm and processes the raw material into a usable, organic finished – let’s say they take the crops and then process that and make that into an organic raw material.
So for example, with cocoa butter, you can grow the cocoa beans, the pod and then those pods have to be dried (and sometimes they’re roasted) and then you have to separate the cocoa butter from the actual chocolate or cocoa nib. So that’s a whole other step.
The growers don’t process necessarily. Some growers do, but most farmers (which would be the first level or the first category), they simply grow the raw material and then cut the material/harvest it. And then they ship it off to the processor.
James Hahn: And the processor if you’re taking about cocoa butter, that whole process has to be according to organic principles, not just the growing of the planet. It’s like every step of the lifecycle of that cocoa to be certified in the end product has to be part of the certification loop.
DEBRA: I have a question. Diana, tell us what the third one is and then I’ll ask my question.
Diana Kaye: Okay, the third one isn’t very well known and it’s not something that’s required, which we think is a real big problem in the marketplace. The third category would be –
Let me back up. I said that first of all, the second category was a processor/handler. A processor is someone who would take that cocoa butter and make it into a body cream, mixing it and blending it with other oils and butters and then packaging that and reselling that. So that’s processing.
A handler is someone who, for example, might purchase cocoa beans – no, let’s say coffee beans and they get them in large 50 lb. bags. These are green coffee beans and perhaps they roast them. Maybe they already buy the roasted beans from somebody else.
If a person buys a finished raw material and all they do is just repackage it, they don’t do anything to it (so they’re buying roasted coffee beans in a 50 lb. or 100 lb. bag and they’re simply measuring it out and putting it into 1 lb. bag and then stapling those bags or sealing those bag some way and putting a label on them), that’s a handler, someone who doesn’t really process, something who doesn’t use a mixer or a blender.
So when we think of processor, we should think of processing tools, things that most of us are familiar with that we probably have in our own kitchen.
DEBRA: Like a food processor.
James Hahn: There’s one thing I want to quickly insert here and that is when Diana says you can have a handler who is certified, you could for example have a retailer where the store itself is certified.
Diana Kaye: Well, that’s the third category, Jim.
James Hahn: Okay.
Diana Kaye: So the third category – and this is the one that I mentioned gives us the bit of unsettling. The Federal National Organic Program law does not require the require the retailer to be certified to handle or present for sale certified organic products.
This is what bothers us. For example, we know of many different retail stores (some in, say, the health food category, some mass market groceries) where the stores might have – some might have an in-store deli where they actually produce and process food and then they put it out in their deli cases for sale.
And then there are other stories that don’t have a deli, but they may have a backroom where they’ll take that watermelon and slice it up into quarters and make it more convenient and wrap it for people or they may buy bulk. They may have a bulk area. A lot of health food stores have bulk bins where they’ll dump those 50 lb. or 25 lb. bags of nuts into the bin, so those people are in essentially, retail stores are essentially handling organic food.
But this is the part that bothers me. They’re not required to be certified.
James Hahn: The other thing, if you don’t mind my saying, which is related to this is you can have a store that announces to the world that they are certified as a handler. That can give the impression that all of the products they sell are organic. But that is not at all necessarily the case.
DEBRA: Yeah, I see the difference. So what is actually being certified is the farmer grower and a processor or handler can be certified. But are you saying that not only are the retailers not certified, but there’s no even any certification for the retail?
Diana Kaye: Well, good question. Actually, they can get certified, but the law does not require it. We think that that’s a big loophole that isn’t good in the National Organic Program Federal Regulations because for example, if you are a certified organic processor – which, by the way, that’s what we are. We’ll get into this a little more about why we have one certification, not the grower, but why we’re processors and not growers.
When you are a processor, there are very strict regulations about how you need to maintain your facility, logs that you have to keep for maintenance, pest control in addition to maintaining all the records for all of your raw materials.
In other words, for your raw materials, you have to maintain your purchase order, you have to maintain all of the certification paper work that comes with every single raw material every single time you purchase it and you’re required to keep all of these documents for five years.
DEBRA: I don’t want to interrupt you, but we have to go to break.
Diana Kaye: Sure, no problem.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today are Diana Kaye and James Hahn from Terressentials. We’re talking about the organic certification process. We’ll be right back after this to find out more.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. And today, we’re talking about the challenges of achieving organic certification with my guests, Diana Kaye and James Hahn from Terressentials. You can go to their website where they have USDA certified personal care products, wonderful personal care products at Terressentials.com.
Okay, go on, Diana.
Diana Kaye: Ah, okay. So backing up to the retailer situation, for example, if you are a certified processor for which we are and also, another type of processor might be the person that makes the pasta sauce that you love that comes in a jar or the bread that you like, those people who make those kinds of products including personal care would be ‘certified organic processors’.
And then, for example, there is a really lovely coffee company over in New Jersey and many around the country who package coffee beans. Those people are certified organic handlers. There are some that might roast the beans and package them and then those people would be the certified organic processors/handler.
DEBRA: …because they’re doing something to it.
Diana Kaye: The issue with their – pardon me?
DEBRA: …because they’re doing something to it.
Diana Kaye: Yes, exactly.
DEBRA: Yeah, yeah.
Diana Kaye: Well, the thing with retailers is a lot of them are doing something. Even if that means they are opening that bulk of bulk food and they’re putting it in the bin, here’s the question, what are they cleaning that bin with? If they are cutting that watermelon up into quarters and then wrapping it up with plastic wraps, what are they cleaning their countertop and their knives with?
James Hahn: And the reason Diana is asking that is if they’re doing it according to organic regulations, those dictate the types of cleaners that you can use.
Diana Kaye: Absolutely! There’s a list of approved products that you can and cannot use. So that’s a very important of the processing/handling. In our case, I’ve also seen many stores that in their deli cases, they label food that they’ve prepared whether it be macaroni salad or even a salad, but it’s ready to go and I’ve seen stores that label these products as organic because they use the materials, the raw materials from their produce section.
However, this is what bothers me. When they take the raw materials, be it cucumbers, tomatoes, whatever from their produce section and the macaroni off the shelf and boil it, but they take it back into the kitchen, are they processing that food according to the standard that is required for the tomato sauce in the jar or the body care product? If they are not certified, they’re not. No!
DEBRA: We don’t know. We don’t know if they’re cooking that macaroni in tap water with fluoride in it and chloramines and all kinds of things.
Diana Kaye: Yeah!
DEBRA: And when you were talking about the bins, when you’re talking about the bins, the first thing I thought of was, “Well, what if they had bugs around? What kind of pesticides are they spraying to get rid of the bugs?”
Diana Kaye: Bingo! Exactly, exactly.
DEBRA: So now, it’s not organic anymore.
Diana Kaye: Well, that’s our point. By the way, just to back up, we see this as another problem with the National Organic Program Regulation. The NOP (that’s the National Organic Program) allows people to use tap water in food whether it be…
James Hahn: …or for any purpose.
Diana Kaye: …for any purpose, rinsing vegetables. If you see a juice that says ‘from concentrate’ and they’re required to list the juice concentrate in the water, that doesn’t mean the water was even purified or distilled.
In our case, we’re uncomfortable with that. We don’t drink tap water. We use distilled water to make our products, but that is not a requirement under the NOP [inaudible 00:17:41]. We’re sad about that, but the NOP allows EPA standards for drinking water to be an acceptable quality of water to be used in food.
James Hahn: So that’s an area where we go beyond the requirements.
Diana Kaye: Right! So those are the basic levels of certification, but we thought it was really important to point out the retailer aspect because that’s it, that’s the last step where the food or the personal care products are before you take them home.
We really feel that if a retailer is handling, that they should be required to go through a retailer certification especially if they have a prepared food section so that people can feel assured that, like you said, they’re not using pesticides and a lot of grocery stores do, any kind of store. They might even have a regular contract with a pest control applicator.
But also, even going so far as what you clean your countertops with. That’s the level of detail that we have to go through.
DEBRA: Well, I would assume (and I think that a lot of people make this assumption) that if you’re buying something at a natural food store that they have prepared, that they’re using the cleaners that they’re selling on the shelf. That’s not necessarily the case.
Diana Kaye: No, ma’am.
DEBRA: We should not make that assumption.
James Hahn: Absolutely not.
DEBRA: I do see that a lot of times in stores, there are some people who are being employed at not very high wages that may not know how to do things…
Diana Kaye: Sure, sure.
James Hahn: Mm-hmmm…
DEBRA: …and that there may be a store policy that is not trickles down to somebody who’s working on the floor.
Diana Kaye: Absolutely!
DEBRA: Yeah, I totally understand what you’re saying and I hadn’t even thought of that.
Diana Kaye: For us, it makes shopping very difficult for food because Debra, we’re like you, we’re trying to maintain our health. It’s very difficult and challenging in this world if you’re someone like you or us or some of your other listeners who are purists and who are recovering from an illness or trying not to get illness. We want to minimize the chemical residues. And so it becomes a challenge.
And that’s one of the reasons that we are certified organic as processors. I mentioned earlier that I wanted to make the distinction. We grow here and we have a few acres that we planted. But the certification process is so intense and there’s so much work that’s involved. We are a tiny company and two things.
Number one, we could not manage a certification for our farm and a certification for our processing. The important thing is we’re an experimental research. That’s the kind of growing we do. We couldn’t possibly grow all of the crops that we need for the raw materials to be able to make our line of products. So we have to depend on partnerships with other organic farms around the world to be able to supply us with the raw materials that we need to use to make our products.
So because the level of detail is so tremendous and the paper work that’s required, that’s all we can manage.
James Hahn: And the climate of course is not right.
DEBRA: I understand. We need to go to break.
James Hahn: Okay.
DEBRA: We need to go to break, so I’m going to stop you. But I’m going to ask my question first before we let you talk some more.
James Hahn: Surely.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. We’re talking about organic certification and everything that goes into that with Diana Kaye and James Hahn from Terressentials. Their website is Terressentials.com where they have lovely gourmet certified organic personal care products and we’re going to find out what that means. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guests today are Diana Kaye and James Hahn from Terressentials and we’re talking about organic certification.
Now, I just want to clarify one thing. When a consumer sees that USDA organic seal, I always think that that means that the ingredients themselves are organically certified, certified organic. So where does the processor certification come in. How will a consumer know that it’s processed organic or can that seal not be used unless it’s been processed by an organic processor?
Diana Kaye: That’s the second part. The company may not use the organic seal on their finished products unless the growing and the processing, both steps, are certified.
James Hahn: It’s like with food. Not only could they not use the seal, they would not be able to use the word ‘organic’ to describe the product legally.
DEBRA: Okay! So as long as everybody is being legal, then if we see organic on a label and we see the USDA organic seal, that means that it’s been grown and processed.
James Hahn: That’s correct. Every step of the process has been examined.
Diana Kaye: That’s the way it’s supposed to be and hopefully it is out there in the real world. I think we covered this another show where we have different certifications coming to the United States from other countries. Those certifications aren’t equal to the level of scrutiny and the detailed organizations that American companies – or let’s not say American, but just any company because a company in a foreign country could get certified to the USDA National Organic Program Regulations and they would also be allowed to use the USDA seal.
Truthfully, they would find it to their marketing advantage to use the USDA organic seal on the front label of the product because it means much. People recognize that globally because it was the first organic detailed standard that was composed and created with consumer input.
James Hahn: It’s still the best standard in the world.
DEBRA: Okay. So now, given that it is – I mean, I’ve had other on people talking about this and I’m pretty impressed with the standard. Why don’t you tell us about what it takes to actually get certified so that people can understand that it’s not just somebody walking in and saying, “Okay, you’re fine.”
Diana Kaye: Oh, my God, no.
James Hahn: Definitely not.
DEBRA: So tell us what it takes. What’s behind that seal?
Diana Kaye: Okay. The very first step is your application process, which is a many month-long process where you have to basically write a dissertation of what your whole process is, what your goals are describing the product that you’re going to produce. So this is truly an essay form.
And then you have to have supporting documentation for all of that. The supporting documentation, I kind of just washed over this a little earlier, which means that any time you order a raw material – and by the way, if you’re a small company, it’s sad, but you have much more work to do than a larger company because small companies tend to buy their raw materials on smaller quantities on a more frequent basis because small companies are not making products in 30,000 or 50,000 gallon tanks.
And that’s common, by the way, for personal care products. They’re made in these huge batch when large companies do it. Many small companies (and we are one), we make things in very small batches and we buy raw materials more frequently, which actually, I prefer because I know that in many cases, that means we’re getting fresher materials.
However, when it comes to documenting all of that, all of those many purchases, it’s extremely time-consuming because for every single purchase, you have to maintain the whole paperwork trail for every single purchase.
And in addition, we make ourselves – all of the extracts that are listed in our products, we actually make all of those here in-house as well. Many companies, they buy their extracts, their herbal extracts off the shelf from herbal extract companies. So they’re recording a purchase. In our case, now we get into production log. So we actually have to track all the raw materials for every single herbal extract that we make and I’m talking we have to track them down to fractions of an ounce and we have to be able to document that.
In fact, one of the aspects of the process – and I’m skipping ahead a little bit here – is the inspection. At that time, a certifier will select randomly a product and you have to be able to track back through all of your invoices and production logs and all of your records to be able to track every drop of every material, every ounce, very gram.
James Hahn: …and identify exactly which batch that drop came from.
Diana Kaye: So it’s extremely complicated to do that especially if you have multi-ingredient products and if you’re also the producer of some of those multi-ingredient products. So for example, an herbal extract is a multi-ingredient product because it requires two ingredients or more.
We’ll make a chamomile extract. That would be certified organic grape, alcohol or sugar alcohol. In our case, we tend to use sugar. Some people use the grain alcohols, but we prefer the sugar. It’s cleaner. And then you would have your certified organic herb material. So we have to track.
And again, we buy in small quantities. We’re not buying a hundred pounds and making a hundred gallons or fifty gallons at a time. We’re making smaller batches. We might make a gallon or two. So we have to track every bottle, every drop of each herbal extract that we make. And if we’ve got 25, those are almost – in fact they are. Those are individual product. So it’s not just our finished product, which a customer would see as the body lotion or body cream, but every single ingredient that’s an extract, that’s a compound, multi-ingredient, we have to track that as well.
So in addition to that, when we’re first composing our application called the Organic System Plan (and that’s part of the regulation), we have to document how we’re going to – and this is what we alluded to earlier when we’re talking about retailers. We have a chart and we have to break out every single method that we use to clean our facility. We have to list a mop, a broom, a vacuum. Whatever tool that we use, we’re required to list that.
And in addition that, we have to list every cleaning product that we use. In our case, we use our own organically made soap. We make our own organic sanitizer. We use baking soda, we use vinegar, we use our own organic essential oil. But again, we have to log every single thing. We have to actually have logs where we note when we clean, who cleaned. We have a separate log for maintenance when we clean our filters in our HVAC units. We have another log, which is strictly for mouse trap, fly paper. We have plug-in UV lights with sticky traps.
DEBRA: I need to interrupt you…
Diana Kaye: Oh!
James Hahn: Okay.
DEBRA: …because the commercial is going to come on any second. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. We’re talking about how to organic certification, what it takes to get that with Diana Kaye and James Hahn from Terressentials. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guests today are Diana Kaye and James Hahn from Terressentials. Okay, so you were giving us a list of all the things you have to keep lists of.
Diana Kaye: I know. That’s essentially a huge component of what we have to do, paperwork documentation.
James Hahn: Our stack of documentation, how tall would you say it is, Diana?
Diana Kaye: Oh, Debra, it’s the saddest white binder that we could find and it’s 4 ½ inch. That’s our organic application. We have to have for every raw material, we have to break out every single – so basically, every recipe for every product is included in there. We have to create what’s called a flowchart for every single product that’s in there where you actually have to use a bubble diagram. So you outline each step of your process for every single product. You do that graphically with a bubble diagram.
The paperwork, I have to say is tedious. Sometimes, it feels like it’s overwhelming. And again, I say for a small company, it feels like it can be more challenging because larger companies – and I’ve used this comparison, they may make products once or three times a year and they buy raw materials in metric tons where we may be buying –
Like when we buy certified organic lavender organic, we may buy 5 kilos or 10 kilos at a time. They’re buying it in 55-gallon drums and they made that by a palette of drums, which is 455-gallon barrels to make their products. So their paper workload is significantly less than it would be. And it’s a shame, but it’s the same that the documentation process works.
James Hahn: But it is the same standard that applies to all food producers so that if you see a food and it has the USDA seal on it or uses the word ‘organic’, they are required to have gone through that entire process.
Now, one thing I want to point out to your listeners is that if you’re talking about personal care products, only the 1% of the “organic personal care products” on the market have gone through that process. Most do not.
Diana Kaye: And that’s kind of sad.
DEBRA: Okay, so just give us a little summary about what people would be reading on a label if they see organic. Actually, after your last show, one of my listeners wrote an email to me and he asked me about a particular organic personal care product – I’m going to sneeze in about a second. Anyway, so he said it contains organic ingredients. [Sneezing] Excuse me. Wow! That’s the first time I’ve sneezed on the air.
Diana Kaye: Blessings! Blessings!
DEBRA: Thank you. So anyway, I said to him, “Well, is the product itself certified organic or is the ingredients certified organic” and he said it didn’t say on the website. He said, “Well, I’m going to write to them and find out.” And so they sent him back a very nice email saying, “We’re working on getting that certification.”
So what exactly should people be looking for to indicate that it is a certified organic product?
Diana Kaye: Well, this is pretty important. And this is sad. In the personal care world, the enforcement is not just there. The first thing that we can tell people to say to look for is the USDA seal on organic.
The ‘made with organic’ category kind of gets tricky. I’m going to just dive into that real quick. For instance, we have our hair wash. A large component of that product is clay. And that clay is permitted. It’s on the national list of approved materials. Clay benzonites are used in many different kinds of products. We use them in our deodorants as well. They are allowed, but you cannot certify salt minerals.
So any mineral (calcium, salt or clay), they would be allowed if they’re not irradiated or chemically treated, but they’re not alive. They don’t grow. You can use them in products.
So in our case, all of our other ingredients in our hair wash are certified organic products – herbal extracts and essential oils. And that’s it. We don’t use anything else. However, because of the percentage, the product can’t use the USDA seal, but it’s been processed by us in our certified organic facility according to that organic system plan (that’s 4 ½ inches high of paper work and documentation), but we can’t use the USDA seal on the back of the label.
DEBRA: Yeah. Go on, go on. I’m going to say something.
Diana Kaye: The tricky part is if you are a certified company, you’re required to list that who you are certified organic by. Now, what we’ve seen many companies do (and this is where it makes it so difficult for consumers), companies that are not certified that are personal care products, they will list – like maybe they’re buying three ingredients that are certified organic. And they’ll actually list those certifier’s name on the back of the label. And so a consumer thinks that that means that product is a certified product when that is not the case.
The consumer should ask to see the company’s organic certificate that shows that the company that makes the personal care product is a certified organic processor.
DEBRA: Well, I think that the companies should be posting that kind of information on their website.
Diana Kaye: Well, I agree. They should also be posting their list of ingredients for their products. But unfortunately, most don’t.
DEBRA: Exactly! It’s like all that information should be there. That’s something that I’m working on, wanting people to do that and encouraging people to do that and asking more questions of companies.
I think one of the biggest problems that we have in the whole industry, all of consumerism, the whole marketplace is simply not knowing what’s in the product.
Diana Kaye: Yes.
DEBRA: And then another thing I wanted to say about the organic certification is that it gets confusing to the consumer when the product itself – like you were talking about, the clay portion of your hairwash is not an agricultural product, so it can’t be certified organic, that ingredient.
James Hahn: Right.
DEBRA: But there’s nothing toxic about your clay.
James Hahn: Nothing at all.
Diana Kaye: That’s a great little…
DEBRA: Yeah, but I didn’t finish my sentence. And then I want to hear what you have to say.
Diana Kaye: No, I love it.
DEBRA: And so I actually had somebody say to me recently that their product was 100% organic because it was certified organic.
Diana Kaye: Argh!
James Hahn: No, it doesn’t mean…
DEBRA: And I said, “No, your product isn’t 100% organic because it’s got other things in it and you can’t say that.” I actually called up somebody and said, “You can’t run your ad.”
Diana Kaye: But they do, Debra and that’s the sad part.
DEBRA: I know. I know they do. I know. So the point is as good as the organic certification is, it’s misleading in ways here. And the way I think that it’s misleading is that your product is totally non-toxic, but you can’t say that it’s 100% organic because it isn’t.
Diana Kaye: And the shame of all that is – and this is just from our perspective, but it’s really important. For consumers who are like us, again, we’re competing with literally hundreds of other companies who have synthetic, chemical detergents like in their shampoo, for example and maybe they have a drop of three organic ingredients and they call the product organic and they’ll list a couple of certifiers names on the back of their label, the consumer sees all of that and thinks that that is an organic product and yet it’s got a man-made, synthetic chemical detergent, it likely has chemical preservatives like ethanol.
People panic about parabens, but all of the replacement preservatives have very little documentation for long-term safety. So it’s like you’re just throwing the baby out with the bathwater and you’re trading one thing for something that’s unknown.
We deal with that and it’s so hard to communicate to consumers all these because it is confusing. And that’s why oh, Debra, your show is so helpful because you’re helping to get people to understand the complexities of the labeling situations. And honestly, it would be so wonderful if we could have more enforcement in the personal care marketplace.
James Hahn: …instead of none.
Diana Kaye: But honestly, it’s like personal care products are orphans. We’re an afterthought, almost as if they didn’t even anticipate that people would want to have a truly 100% certified organic body cream, you know?
DEBRA: Well, yeah. I agree with you. But also (I think we’ve talked about this before), we’ve both been working in this field for 30 years and we both see that there’s progress.
Diana Kaye: Yeah, there is.
James Hahn: For sure.
DEBRA: And there still needs to be even more progress. We’re not there yet 100%, but it’s so much better than it used to be. And the more talk about this, the more people listen to the show, the more people write articles, the more people are educated and then they can go and ask these questions and know what to look for and things like that, the more it’s all going to kind of settle out I think. I think we have a ways to go.
We only have less than a minute now. So I want to make sure…
Diana Kaye: It always flies by so fast.
DEBRA: I know. It does, it does. You’ve given us so much great information. I’m going to have Diana and James on on a regular basis, about once a month. We’ll be doing more shows talking about organic, so that everybody can learn and listen.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today. Thank you for your wonderful products. I’ll give you 15 seconds to say goodbye.
Diana Kaye: Well, Debra, I would just want to say once again that Jim and I are so delighted that you have taken up the cause here to educate consumers about what organic means and to help peel back the layers of this onion so that people can see and learn how to read the labels and to know what questions to ask of the personal care product.
DEBRA: I’m going to stop you right there because that’s the end of the show. Thank you, Diana and James from Terressentials.
James Hahn: Okay, thank you.
Diana Kaye: Thank you.
DEBRA: They’re at Terressentials.com. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. Be well.