What do Our Product Labels Really Mean?

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Reading labels to find the best products for us can be confusing and crazy. To help with this inevitably complicated task, we’ve put together a list of all the “clean” labels you should be aware of in both cosmetics and food products. Hopefully now we can all be a bit more educated on how ethically made our purchases really are.

Cosmetics

BDIH Certification
Kontrollierte Natur-Kosmetik

  •  Plant materials are derived from raw and organic sources
  • Does not contain organic-synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, ethoxylated raw materials, silicones, paraffin, and other petroleum derived product
  • Has not been tested on animals and does not have products derived from dead vertebrates
  • Has not been treated with ionising radiation

AISBL Certification
COSMOS-standard

  • Does not contain nanomaterials or GMOs
  • Has not be treated with gamma or x-ray
  • Has not been tested on animals
  • If containing palm and kernel oils, they have been derived from certified organic and sustainable sources 

NPA
Natural Standard

  • Contains mostly natural, biodegradable ingredients
  • Does not contain ingredient with human health risk
  • Packaged in an environmentally friendly way
  • Has not been tested on animals

ECOCERT
Organic Cosmetics

  • Does not contain ingredient with human health risk
  • Does not contain petrochemicals or GMOs
  • Must be made with responsible regard for natural resources and biodiversity
  • Packaged in an environmentally friendly way

PETA
Cruelty-Free Bunny

  • Has not been tested on animals, nor can the company conduct, commission, pay for, or allow animal testing

Leaping Bunny 

  • Has not been tested on animals at any stage of development

Foods

Fairtrade

  • Promotes development and uphold standards that benefit producers and their communities as well as traders
  • Standards are upheald to ISEAL Code of Good Practice on Standard Setting and are periodically reviewed

NATRUE

  • Made from natural or nature identical ingredients 
  • Has not been tested on animals
  • Does not contain artificial ingredients
  • Water has not included as an ingredient to maintain fair percentage when measuring ingredients

Certified Vegan/Vegan Action

  • Does not contain animal products or GMO’s derived from animals
  • Has not been tested on animals
  • Food-making surfaces have been cleaned between products

USDA Organic Seal

  • Land has met cultivation practice standards
  • If labelled with “organic”, contains a minimum of 70% certified organic substances
  • Livestock have been fed organically


 

C.L.E.A.N. Certified

  • Has earned a score of 80+ in regard to the following characteristics:
    • Live – how much is derived from organic materials
    • Ethical – whether or not GMOs are contained
    • Active – determined by CS Testing
    • Nourishing – measurement of micronutrients based on ANDI score

R.A.W. Certified

  • Has earned a score of 80+ in regard to the following characteristics:
    • Real – whether or not GMOs are contained and how many
    • Alive – determining by CS testing
    • Whole – measurement of micronutrients based on Aggregate Nutrient Density Index score

Sources:

“Certified C.L.E.A.N. & Certified R.A.W.: The Standards.” Certified C.L.E.A.N. / Certified R.A.W., 2021, cleanfoodcertified.org/the-standards. 

“Certified Vegan Standards.” Vegan Action, 2021, vegan.org/certification/. 

“Fairtrade Standards.” Fairtrade International, www.fairtrade.net/standard. 

Guidelines for Certified Natural Cosmetics, www.kontrollierte-naturkosmetik.de/e/guideline_natural_cosmetics.htm. 

“Leaping Bunny.” Homepage, www.leapingbunny.org/. 

NATRUE Label Criteria: Requirements to Be Met by Natural and Organic Cosmetics. 2021, www.natrue.org/uploads/2021/01/EN-NATRUE-Label_criteria_v3.9_January-2021.pdf. 

“Natural Personal Care.” Natural Products Association, 21 Jan. 2020, www.npanational.org/certifications/natural-seal/natural-seal-personal-care/. 

“Organic and Natural Cosmetics.” Ecocert, www.ecocert.com/en-US/certification-detail/natural-and-organic-cosmetics-cosmos. 

“Organic, Grades and Standards.” Organic | Agricultural Marketing Service, www.ams.usda.gov/grades-standards/organic-standards. 

“PETA’s ‘Global Beauty Without Bunnies’ Program.” PETA, 2 June 2020, www.peta.org/living/personal-care-fashion/beauty-without-bunnies/. 

“The COSMOS-Standard Document: Certification for Organic and Natural Cosmetics.” COSMOS, www.cosmos-standard.org/the-cosmos-standard-document. 

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