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Is Organic Really Better?
Posted: July 3, 2007
page 2 of 3
Consumers continue to think that "natural" or "organic" ingredients automatically are safe. And while consumer perception definitely drives the market, an education of the consumer needs to occur, primarily so they know what they are putting onto their skin to determine whether it is safer for them as individuals. Some ingredients found in nature--i.e., what the consumer would consider "natural"--are not in fact safer; consider consumers with allergies or sensitivies.
One natural product Web site, www.lblossom.com, eloquently explained the two views:
Those that support synthetic ingredients point out that natural ingredients are complex compounds and that to get the benefit of one component you risk the negative effects--allergies, in particular--of the others. They also argue that a manufacturer does not simply duplicate a natural ingredient, they improve on it.
Those who favor naturals say the ingredients are complex compounds with hundreds of components that can have a synergistic interaction--making them better than the sum of their components. Furthermore, they argue against synthetic ingredients because they can be tainted by the undesirable chemicals used in their manufacture; they add that natural ingredients have been tested by virtue or their safe use for hundreds or even thousands of years.
Interestingly, Health Canada has published a list of natural ingredients pertinent to the cosmetic industry that includes synthetic compounds, so long as they are duplicates of the natural ingredient.