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On Nov. 13, 2008, Dr. Straetmans held Perspectives for Natural Cosmetics–Natural Cosmetics as a Perspective, a conference on natural cosmetics that reportedly was the largest natural cosmetics event ever held in Germany. The conference was held in Cologne, Germany, and drew the participation of industry experts from different organizations.
The organizers presented a balanced program including legal aspects and an introduction of the two largest European standards for natural and organic cosmetics, as well as various topics with scientific and practical impact for cosmetic manufacturers. More than 130 attendants from five countries followed the invitation from Dr. Straetmans to participate in the conference and open discussions following the individual lectures. The evening before the conference was a perfect opportunity to get together in the beautiful location of the “bauwerk Köln,” where an exhibition of intriguing pictures of microorganisms and a chamber with natural perfumes to discover, already generated the interest for next day’s conference.
The program was opened with a welcome by Angelika Meiss of Cossma who guided through the program with profound knowledge of the cosmetic market by giving interesting background information and market data between the lectures. The first session started with a presentation of the two main standards in Europe, NaTrue and CosmOS, respectively. Jörg Demuth, managing director of The Organic Spa and member of the working group for the development of CosmOS, presented the philosophy and cornerstones of CosmOS, which is a European organization made up of five national certifiers in naturals.
Demuth highlighted the new standard that has been created by Cosmebio/ECOCERT of France, BDIH of Germany, ICEA/AIAB of Italy, the Soil Association from the UK and Probila-Unitrab/Ecogarantie from Belgium. The draft of the standard is currently in a public consultation process so that members of the industry can get familiar with and comment. It will be enforced in March 2009.
Vincent Letertre from Wala/Dr. Hauschka and member of the scientific committee of NaTrue, presented NaTrue as the second main standard in Europe. NaTrue was founded in 2007 by the manufacturers for natural cosmetics to ensure a strict selection of natural ingredients with a high degree of transparency. Although its main office is in Brussels, the organization is partnering with the IKW, Germany’s largest industry organization for household and personal care producers. While both CosmOS and NaTrue follow similar goals with one basic aim being the promotion of natural cosmetics and increased use of organic ingredients, there are differences in the allowance of non-natural ingredients, like chemically modified natural ingredients or synthetic preservatives.