Wednesday, May 01, 2013

How Toxic Chemicals Get Into The Plants—A Great Visual Demonstration

The photo above depicts an intriguing experiment reported by Sleuth Journal that shows, via chemical dyes in water, how plants absorb chemicals into their cellular matrix in a short period of time. This experiment also demonstrates why toxic chemicals applied to plants (and to the soil plants are growing in) cannot be washed off—the chemicals are inside the plant!

This visual demonstration clearly shows why "natural" personal care products are not a good choice. Agricultural petrochemicals and genetically-modified—pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, defoliators, growth regulators, fertilizers, etc.applied to plants themselves or into the soil are taken up into the plant—leaves, seeds/oils, roots, bark and flowers—and cannot be washed away. In fact, many toxic chemicals applied to plants are attracted to oil (this oil to oil attraction is called lipophilic) and this means that toxic chemicals will be attracted to and concentrated in the oil fractions of the plant—seed oils and even essential oils.  

You may be surprised to learn that, in the USA and other countries, there is no legal definition of the word "natural." Without any laws governing the use of the word "natural," many personal care companies use the word with no regard to an educated consumer's perception of the word or even to the dictionary definition. Too many personal care product manufacturers use the word "natural" to describe very unnatural products laden with conventional industrial cosmetic chemicals, toxic fragrances and preservatives, etc.

So, with the chemical-intensive growing, harvesting and processing of "natural" oils and other plant materials, the conventionally-grown and chemically-processed materials do not have the purity or the vitality levels of certified organic botanical ingredients. "Natural" personal care products made from conventionally-grown and industrially-processed botanicals and oils will certainly contain residues of agriculture chemicals and also residues of toxic by-products resulting from chemical processing of ingredients.

In contrast to the loosey-goosey applications of the word "natural," there is a very explicit definition of the word organic in the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) federal regulations. What constitutes a true certified organic product? In summary, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) regulations prohibit the application of toxic petrochemicals in agricultural growing and harvesting practices and also prohibit the use of toxic petrochemicals and irradiation in the processing of certified organic ingredients. For example, common industrial personal care chemicals such as petrochemical or synthetic biological and GMO fragrances, flavors and preservatives, oxide colors and dyes and sunscreen pigments, chemically-reacted emulsifying waxes, detergents and fatty acids, petrochemical acrylics or synthetic biological protein polymers, thickeners, etc., are all prohibited under the USDA NOP organic regulations.

For those seeking pure personal care products to cleanse their bodies and hair and to nourish their skin, your best choice for personal care products is to use only those products made by the few ethical companies that have earned the third-party verified, USDA National Organic Program organic certification. It is important to note that personal care product companies that are certified to our USDA federal organic regulations are subject to annual and surprise inspections of their facilities and third-party verification by USDA-accredited organic certifying agents of all of the company's invoices, purchase orders, production logs, maintenance logs, product labels, all marketing materials and much more to ensure compliance with the organic rules. Organic certification is a time-consuming, expensive and invasive endeavor for a company to voluntarily submit to, but, in the end, how else can we assure you that the personal care product that you purchase is truly organic?

For the finest quality in personal care products, choose USDA organic certified products as the USDA National Organic Program regulations are the highest and most strict organic standards in the world. 

(Check out Sleuth Journal's entire eye-opening "That Really Happens? The Truth About Trying To Wash Pesticides Off Produce" article.)