Organic production methods have become a huge selling point as consumers become more discerning and health-conscious. Consumers feel confident that their organic food products are free of potentially harmful chemicals left over from pesticides or insecticides, and therefore are willing to pay a premium price. However, as it is clear from walking into any major retailer today, many non-food products are now claiming organic status on their labels.
Now, the USDA has reported it is cracking down on organic claims on non-food products to protect the integrity of organic products. It has developed a three-tier labeling system to help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions.
- 100 Percent Organic: Products that contain only certified organic ingredients, including any processing aids, may use this claim on their label.
- Organic: Products claiming "organic" on their label must contain 95 percent or more of certified organic ingredients, excluding salt and water.
- "Made With" Organic: This labeling claim requires products to be made up of at least 70 percent certified organic ingredients.
The USDA also released guidelines on where these claims can be made on a product's label. Products that qualify for "100 percent organic" or "organic" labeling requirements may use the claim anywhere on the product, while "made with" products can only use the term as part of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor statement.
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