Doing business as a certified organic soap manufacturer means we live with rules and transparency every day. Certification requires us to be completely honest about the ingredients we use – tracing them back to their sources – as well as the methods we use when we manufacture our products. We undergo regular audits by our certifying agency to confirm we’re in continual compliance.
Here’s an Example
True soap is made with lye. Once the chemical reaction with fatty acids is complete and soap is created, there’s no lye left, but we must account for the lye originally used as a percentage of ingredients. The result is, organic soap can’t ever reach the 95-100% organic threshold needed to display the USDA organic logo. We’d love to use the logo on our soap, but accountability – part of the organic code – prevents us.
Talking Down to Consumers and Expecting Them to be Grateful
In the worlds of chat rooms and social media – where standards for truth and discussion are extremely low – it’s common to see industry marketers dismiss “organic” as a scam intended to demonize industrial food and skincare and promote the higher-priced alternatives.
Other anti-organic marketers adopt a learned position, but the objective is the same, to diminish organic. The learned approach expresses intellectual concern that we’re all being led astray, insisting organic is really only an indulgence, an option for the rich and picky.
In one example of the learned approach, the premise is “there is no persuasive evidence” for thinking organic farming or food is better for us. Above all, the learned approach is meant to sound knowledgeable and to expose the organic agenda, concluding “the simple truth is buying non-organic is far more cost-effective, more humane, and more environmentally responsible.”
Lying About the Truth
Here’s the problem with the quote above and the article that contains it. Simple or otherwise, it’s not the truth. In repeating industry fictions, the article reduces the issue to a game of manipulation. Despite the writer’s credentials, this is the same argument you’d get from Monsanto or the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
And it wouldn’t be the only “scientific” article to echo Monsanto in a suspicious way. As reported by the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and Bloomberg. Monsanto has made a regular habit of recruiting explicitly pro-GMO articles from university researchers and then passing them off as independent science. This is what’s commonly Laboratory research in science and medical setting.known as lying about the truth. Advanced degrees behind a writer’s name are no guarantee of the truth. They’re not even a guarantee of science.
No Science. No Substance
These two approaches – mocking and condescension – are at the heart of the anti-organic argument, not science or substance, as the writers would have you believe. And it only takes a bit of reflection to see what they’re up to. Companies that can’t BE organic, and therefore can’t compete on merit, resort to diminishing the standing of organic certification, through marketing and corporate-level influence on the standards themselves. If the standards can be lowered enough, the industry thinking goes, anyone can meet it, not just those snooty organic companies. And, if anyone can meet the standards, being organic won’t mean anything anymore.
From a More Reliable Source
Here’s a much better argument, and one that happens to be pro-organic. We choose to do business in compliance with organic certification not just because there’s a market for certified organic soap, but because this is simply how soap should be made.
Earning Trust Rather than Feeling Entitled to It
Despite what commercial marketing would have you believe, we don’t, as a company, make a big public deal about being organic. We take for granted rules that others spend millions to avoid, because we believe in the rules, and in a third-party verifying our compliance with the rules. People who buy our soap should know what’s in it and how it was made. Their trust should be earned, not manipulated. Transparency and third-party certification are the only guarantees.
More and more people are finding they agree with us. The good news is, there are trustworthy organizations for us all to turn to. Several organizations, private and government – including the Montana Department of Agriculture, Oregon Tilth, Organic Certifiers, and California Certified Organic Farmers – provided organic certification according to USDA standards. Non-GMO certification is offered by the Non-GMO Project, Natural Food Certifiers, and SGS. Natural Food Certifiers also offers kosher, vegan, and gluten-guard certification.