This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first harmonized European Directive on cosmetic products - Directive 76/768/EEC, which harmonizes the law covering cosmetic products. In the meantime, a Brussels-based cosmetics advocacy group is on a mission to have any future regulation standardize the definition of natural and organic.
“Our beloved products are still an officially undefined sector of the tightly regulated European industry, and this is the reason for NATRUE’s advocacy role: that any future regulatory definition of Natural and Organic Cosmetics must be appropriate, relevant and strict,” the group said in an official statement.
Dr. Mark Smith, scientific and regulatory manager at NATRUE, who raised this issue in his presentation "NATRUE's Role in the regulatory Framework,” stated multiple private standards exist whose seals aim to effectively reassure consumers of the naturalness of their purchased product. Although each of the numerous seals has different criteria, making it difficult for consumers to choose, according to Smith.
There have been several changes through its seven amendments over the past decade with ultimately the Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009) that came into force in July 2013. Although currently, date there is no official regulatory definition of finished natural and organic cosmetics in the EU as well as the United States.
On a similar note, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently closed a public comment for the new definition of natural in food labeling. Read more of the story here.