PCC Natural Markets requires manufacturer compliance with Natural Products Association Natural Standard

Seattle, Wash, January 7, 2009 — In letters sent today, vendors and manufacturers of personal care products are being notified that compliance with ingredient criteria, as defined by the Natural Products Association (NPA) Natural Standard, is required by PCC Natural Markets (PCC), the largest natural foods cooperative in the U.S.

The NPA Natural Standard defines the term "natural" as it applies to ingredients in personal care products, including natural skin and hair care products. Although the natural personal care industry has grown significantly over recent years, use of the term "natural" never has been subject to regulation or certification by any government or industry entity. Manufacturers have been able to claim that products containing potentially harmful synthetic or petroleum-derived ingredients are natural.

"By requiring our personal care product manufacturers to comply with the NPA Natural Standard, we are adding another layer of scrutiny to our already stringent product procurement criteria," said Wendy McLain, PCC's health and beauty aids merchandiser. "To allow manufacturers time to evaluate and reformulate their products (if necessary), we've set the deadline for compliance as January 2010. After that, any personal care product not covered by a signed agreement may be discontinued."

The required agreement states that manufacturers will not supply PCC with personal care products that do not comply with the NPA Natural Standard, that PCC will be notified if any product reformulations place those products in noncompliance, and that the manufacturer takes responsibility for staying current with future revisions of the NPA Natural Standard.

About PCC Natural Markets: Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $133 million and an active membership of 45,000 households. PCC operates nine stores in the Seward Park, View Ridge, Greenlake, West Seattle, Fremont, Kirkland, Redmond, Edmonds and Issaquah neighborhoods. www.pccnaturalmarkets.com

About the Natural Products Association: The Natural Products Association is the nation's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The association represents nearly 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. www.naturalproductsassoc.org

For more information about the NPA Natural Standard contact:

Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D
Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs

More about: health and body care products, Natural Products Association

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Media contact

Diana Chapman
PCC Natural Markets

206-547-1222, ext. 106
206-390-6657 (cell)

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