Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Organic labeling rules

I was sent a copy of Sara Snow's Fresh Living to review for MNN, and I'm really impressed with the book. I've been entrenched in this green stuff for about two years now and no longer consider myself a newbie. So when a book that is meant to discuss the basics of what you can do around the home both teaches me things and holds me attention, it's a good book. 

One of the things I learned in the book was about the standards that the USDA has for labeling a food organic.
  • For a product to say it is 100% organic, it must be 100% organic by weight with the exception of the water and the salt in the product. It will, of course, also carry the USDA organic seal.
  • A product that isn't 100% organic, can also carry the USDA organic seal. 95% of the content by weight (except for the water and the salt) must be organic. It can have the words organic in the name of the item or on the package.
  • Products that are made with 70% or more organic content can say on the front that it is "made with organic ingredients" as long as the other ingredients meet a USDA approved list. If the product is not at least 70% organic content, it cannot mention organic content on the front of the box. It cannot carry the USDA organic sea.
  • If the product has less than 70% organic content, the ingredient panel can mention the organic ingredients, but it can't mention it on the front of the package. It cannot carry the USDA organic seal.
This is helpful to know, don't you think?

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