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For Immediate Release: February 29th, 2008
Contact:  Stacy Malkan, 202-321-6963, smalkan@hcwh.org; Marisa Walker, marisa@breastcancerfund.org, 415-346-8223

Whole Foods Raises Bar for Natural Personal Care Products

In March, Whole Foods Market will introduce a new “Premium Body Care” seal that will help raise the bar for natural body care products. The new seal – the first private standard for personal care products created by a major retailer in the United States – will appear on products that meet a strict set of criteria for safety, efficacy, environmental impact and labeling.

Products that achieve the seal will be free of synthetic fragrance and can’t contain some 250 synthetic chemicals that are commonly used in personal care products, including parabens, polyproylene and polyethylene glycols, sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates. Chemicals on the “unacceptable list” do not meet a high standard for efficacy, safety and environmental impact, according to the retailer’s two-year review of public safety and environmental data.

“There are currently no standards for personal care products laid forth by any governing body, so customers have been bombarded with brands and products claiming to be ‘natural,’ which can be confusing,” said Jeremiah McElwee, senior global Whole Body coordinator. “Our goal is to provide a safe-haven approach for our customers, so they know that when they see the Premium Body Care seal they are getting safer, higher quality personal care products.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups, praised the Whole Foods Premium Body Care seal as an important new tool that will reduce consumer confusion and help shoppers choose safer, more environmentally friendly body care products.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with socially and environmentally conscious companies committed to making and selling safer, healthier products. We strongly support the efforts of Whole Foods to create and continuously improve its Premium Body Care standard,” said Lisa Archer, national coordinator of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “We look forward to supporting and working with this and other similar efforts in raising the bar for cosmetics safety ever higher.”

For more information about the Whole Foods standard, visit their Web site.

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Founding members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics include: Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow, Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Fund, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, National Black Environmental Justice Network, National Environmental Trust and Women's Voices for the Earth.