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    Program ID - bo022305

    Bodycareless - What's in our soap?

    According to the FDA, 89 percent of ingredients in mainstream cosmetics haven't been safety tested by an independent agency.

    Lotions, creams and shampoos, already full of petroleum-based toxins and synthetic chemicals, are now using penetration enhancers to make skin more absorbent.

    Unlike food, personal care products aren't subject to government oversight. Big name companies overseen by industry-funded regulators have been slow to respond to research on harmful chemical additives; additives including cancer causing parabens.

    But can "all-natural" or organic alternatives be trusted?

    Though the organic community is working toward recommendations, the USDA's National Organic Program doesn't yet have its own standards for the $190 million natural and organic bodycare product industry.

    That means a label reading 70 percent organic - following the accepted food percentage guidelines - might be counting ordinary water in that number and still including harmful impurities.

    What are the environmental costs of flushing these chemically rich potions down shower and sink drains?

    Join host Jerry Kay, publisher of the Environmental News Network, as we look into America's bathrooms and medicine cabinets.

    This Week's Guests:

    Ronnie Cummins — Director, Organic Consumers Association

    Ronnie Cummins is founder and Director of the Organic Consumers Association which is running the "Coming Clean: Organic Bodycare Campaign."

    OCA is a non-profit of 600,000 consumers, dedicated to safeguarding organic standards and promoting a healthy, just and sustainable system of agriculture and commerce.

    Wil Baker — Co-founder, Max Green Alchemy

    Wil Baker has a background working with major retailers in Europe's natural personal care products industry whose standards are more stringent than those in the United States.

    Max Green Alchemy, based in San Francisco, sells skin, hair and lip care products which avoid ingredients believed to cause allergy, toxicity or that are suspected of being potentially harmful.

    Diana Kaye & James Hahn — co-founders, Terressentials Personal Care Products

    After recovering from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, Diana Kaye, along with her partner James Hahn, began making organic body lotions in their kitchen to counter her chemical sensitivity. Ten years later, Terressentials produces a wide range of personal care products using homegrown ingredients from its farm in Middletown, MD.

    More information:

  • Read more on OCA's bodycare campaign
  • Check out Max Green Alchemy
  • Terressentials Personal Care Products
  • Read The Washington Post profile of Terressentials

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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