There is a common misconception that organic and natural both mean the same. However, when it comes to food and cosmetics claims, the two can be quite different.
What is organic?:
An organic food or product is one grown or produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. However, the term ‘organic’ is not currently regulated in Australia, meaning that a business is not required to follow any specific regulations to claim their product as organic.
How can I trust that a product is organic?
There are seven organic certifying bodies approved by the Australian Government, the biggest being Australian Certified Organic (ACO). Products carrying their logo have followed strict regulations and have passed routine, random audits by the ACO. To be certified, the ingredients/product must be produced cruelty free, be pasture fed, socially responsible, free range, biodiversity friendly, non GM and grown free from synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics. Beware of products that claim to be organic but do not have any certification.
What does natural mean?
The product and ingredients should be derived directly from plants or minerals and have minimal or no processing. The use of the word ‘natural’ is very much unregulated so the term is frequently used by manufacturers as they don’t need to adhere to any strict standards.
To wrap it up…
When reading product labels, unfortunately ‘natural’ comes with no guarantees. If you’re looking for a product that is truly free of synthetic chemicals, choose those labelled ‘certified organic’ logo by one of the seven accredited certifying organisations.