Loose regulations regarding essential oils can make it very difficult for consumers to determine if a product is truly organic. Essential oils as a source of fragrance often fall in a gray area within FDA regulations.1 Whether or not the oils are required to meet certain standards will depend on a number of factors, such as their suggested use. But even products that are not heavily regulated by the FDA can be safe, organic, and beneficial.
If you cannot rely on FDA regulations to determine whether an essential oil is 100 percent organic, then you will need to rely on your own diligent research. There are several factors that you can use to determine if the oil company is selling is pure and organic.
1.) Third-Party Certification
There are certain organizations that are far more interested in organic products than the FDA. Some are devoted entirely to certifying products that claim to be organic. To accomplish this, those organizations visit the farms on a regular basis and ensure they are meeting all of the criteria necessary to produce organic products.
MONQ sources all of their US-grown plants from suppliers that are certified by Oregon-Tith. Oregon-Tith is a well known and respected organization in the industry. Receiving organic certification requires regular inspection of fields, crop health, soil conditions, pest management techniques, feed production, storage areas, weed management, processing methods, and contamination prevention practice.2 All plants not grown in the US are certified organic by local organizations in their respective countries.
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Any company that claims to sell 100 percent organic essential oils should be working with certified organic farms and should be willing to share that information. This lets customers know they are serious about their organic claims. If a company is not willing to share this information, then it’s likely because some of their suppliers are not certified organic.
2.) Cost Of Purchase
If you were to visit a local grocery store and compare the cost of organic and non-organic produce you would see that the organic products are always more expensive. This happens because it costs more to get organic products from the farm to the consumer. The supply is limited, production costs are higher, more labor is required, and post-harvest handling is more difficult.3 All of these factors result in increased costs for 100 percent organic produce.
Nobody likes the idea of paying more for a product, but the truth of the matter is that 100 percent organic essential oils are going to be more expensive than their non-organic counterpart. A website marketing an organic essential oil at the same price as essential oils sold at the gas station is likely not making an honest claim.
Compare the price of the organic essential oil to non-organic essential oils of the same type and size online. If the “organic” oil is near the same price or lower, then it should be avoided. Some 100 percent pure organic essential oils can cost between 5 and 10 times as much as non-organic alternatives.
3.) What Do The People Say?
Finally, always utilize the wealth of information available online to determine the integrity of the company selling the oil. You can do this by reading testimonials, customer reviews, and company complaints. Use the company website, their social media page, niche review sites, and the Better Business Bureau to help you along the way.
Does the company have a history of ignoring complaints from customers? Do they withhold information? Are there several complaints on the BBB website? These are all signs of a dishonest company. While this isn’t a guarantee they are lying about the organic nature of their essential oils, it’s enough of a reason to avoid the risk.
Look for companies that believe in transparency with their customers. Companies that disclose information regarding suppliers and certifications; companies that interact with reviews, questions, and complaints; companies that have numerous positive reviews and testimonials; companies that offer product guarantees – these are all signs of a trustworthy company that likely wouldn’t risk their reputation by mislabeling products.
At the end of the day, it boils down to finding a company that you believe you can trust. Three steps that can help you build this trust are:
- Look for organic certifications from independent organizations.
- Compare the price of their organic oils to non-organic competitors.
- Read through online reviews, testimonials, questions, and complaints.
Once you find a company that you can trust you should stick with them. They are hard to come by in this difficult market.
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