What do the Soil Association health and beauty standards say?
The Soil Association standards are based on principles that require the maximum amount of organic ingredients, minimum synthetic ingredients, miniumum processing of ingredients and clear labelling so that the consumer can make an informed choice about the product they are purchasing. The standards also contain criteria that means ingredients must be assessed to not be harmful to human health and their manufacture and use must cause minimum environmental impact.
The standards also cover the requirements that are set out in the EU Regulation that governs organic food and farming, and use criteria from the Nordic Ecolabelling standards which are a set of criteria used to asses the environmental impact of materials. The standards are developed from a preacautionary point of view and will tend to ban ingredients or processes until substantial evidence and research supports their permission in the standards. For example, new standards in 2005 included the recommendation that ingredients resulting from nanotechnology were prohibited until further research is available.