Portland, Oregon—December 7, 2010—The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) is proud to announce its Apothecary Shoppe College Store is now Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO). OTCO is the certifying agent for the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). An internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity, OTCO reflects the Apothecary Shoppe’s ongoing commitment to green business and sustainable practices.
As an arm of the ACHS community, the Apothecary Shoppe College Store prioritizes environmental stewardship and offers a distinguished selection of natural health products, including certified organic herbs and essential oils, for ACHS students and the community at large. To promote sustainable harvesting, wildcrafting, and preservation of natural resources, ACHS President Dorene Petersen personally visits all Apothecary Shoppe distillers, wildcrafters, and suppliers to ensure ACHS’s dedication to sustainable practices.
“Part of the college mission,” says Dorene Petersen, “is to foster shared knowledge of natural medicine. This includes knowledge of the preservation and use of botanicals to support our bodies’ optimal function and environmental stewardship and sustainability of our natural resources. Environmental stewardship and sustainability are the culture of how we use, care for, and protect the earth’s resources. ACHS is deeply committed to this culture. We all play a vital role—ACHS staff, faculty, students, and alumni—in preserving knowledge of medicinal and aromatic plants while fostering a commitment to research. ACHS also recognizes that environmental stewardship and sustainability extend beyond medicinal plants and traditional knowledge preservation to social justice and the impact we all have as unique, powerful, individual agents for change.”
“We’re very excited about our Oregon Tilth certification,” Petersen adds. “OTCO protects our customers by ensuring their herbal supplies meet strict production standards for organic products. Being OTCO means we will use the term ‘organic’ only on products on our approved list. To be approved, the material has to be NOP certified by the vendor. If the material is not NOP certified, it will not be sold as organic.”
To be organic, production “integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity,” explains the Oregon Tilth website. OTCO, therefore, means Apothecary Shoppe products have been grown in a manner that maintains and replenishes soil fertility and does not use toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Also, “organic foods are produced without the use of genetically modified organisms and irradiation,” of which the primary benefits for consumers include safer products, healthier ground water, and in the long term, greater environmental sustainability.
Apothecary Shoppe organic certification does not expire. To maintain and continue certification, the Shoppe will submit certification renewal information on their organic production and/or handling system plan and undergo annual on-site inspections.
The Apothecary Shoppe has been certified for a diverse selection of herbs and essential oils. For specific product information, visit the Apothecary Shoppe website and click on the herb and/or essential oil of interest.
To learn more about the rigorous process of Oregon Tilth certification, visit the Oregon Tilth website (http://tilth.org) and click on Certification to access their FAQs.
ACHS is one of the first accredited, fully online colleges offering degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine. Founded in 1978, American College of Healthcare Sciences is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in holistic health education worldwide. Detailed information about ACHS’s sustainability commitment is available on the College website under About ACHS. For more information about ACHS programs and community wellness events, visit www.achs.edu, call (503) 244-0726, or stop by the College campus located at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239.