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I read your article “Defining Organic” (March). What is the difference between organic and natural essential oils?
Essential oils fall into the category of personal care products, which “can be certified organic,” says Sam Jones-Ellard, spokesperson for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “But we control the term ‘organic’ and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) controls personal care products.” The workaround for this conundrum is to have the USDA certify body care substances that fall into the “agricultural ingredients” category. For instance oil taken from lavender, a flower, can be certified organic; oil from sandalwood, a South Pacific tree, cannot. Like any other product, organic personal care ingredients need to meet the USDA’s standards for production and processing.
Once certified, body care products can be labeled one of four ways. “100% organic” includes only organically produced ingredients; “organic” products must be at least 95% organic. Products in both categories may use the USDA Organic seal. Products containing at least 70% organic ingredients can be called “made with organic ingredients” but may not use the seal. Finally, any product with less than 70% organic ingredients cannot use the term “organic” on the main display label, but can
identify the ingredients so certified on the ingredients statement. To learn more about USDA organic
certification, visit www.usda.gov and search “national organic program.”
We neglected to mention the publisher for Living Downstream, a book reviewed in Wellness Watch for May. It is published by Da Capo Press.
Modine Makes Another ET Appearance—on Our Website
Matthew Modine talked about his support for research into pancreatic cancer, a disease that has claimed his father and brother, in our May 2009 issue. This time, the actor and environmentalist discusses another cause close to his heart: Making bicycles a more viable transportation option. To read this special interview, see the Web Extra box on our site, www.energytimes.com; other Web Extras include recipes for special diets and a Father’s Day gift guide you will only find online.
While you’re there don’t forget to check our blog, where you can tell us all about your favorite fitness routines. You can also enter this issue’s blog contest sponsored by DynaFlex, maker of exercise devices such as the Powerball Gyro (www.dynaflexpro.com). Please remember to provide your email when signing up for the contest—you want us to be able to contact you if you win!