The cosmetic industry seems obsessed by this notion of harmonized standards yet seems unaware that it took the organic food movement over 40 years to get most of the standards on a level field. Even today there is no reciprocity between the US and the EU for organic food standards. How can there be an expectation that the cosmetic industry is any more agreeable than the food folks?
Certification fills two major roles (among a number of roles): one is to teach the applicants about the principles of organic production in their work to conform with the standards aka education. Another is to push the industry to continuously improve as they strive to prove to the consumer that they are credible gatekeepers of the values consumers believe “organic” certification represents aka transparency.
We need companies to make decisions to get certified to any standard in order to begin the process of “organic” education and so to develop credibility through transparency. Until companies make a commitment and begin to use a standard and push it’s development, we will continue to read about the weaknesses of these systems.