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Why Does USDA Certified "Organic"?

By March 30, 2009 - 9:32pm
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Are you ever confused about those products (food or otherwise) that show the USDA Organic green label certification? Here is what I learned. To become "certified organic" means agricultural products are grown and processed per the USDA's national organic standards... then certified by USDA-accredited State and private certification organizations.

There is a specific process -- and a price tag -- to becoming certified.
Qualified inspectors conduct annual onsite inspections of organic operations, talking with operators and observing their production and processing practices to determine if they are in compliance with organic standards...

Who can display an organic label, and what are the rules that apply?

100% organic. Per the USDA standard, products carrying a "100% organic" label may contain only organically produced ingredients.
Organic. To be labeled "organic", 95% of the ingredients must be organically grown, and the remaining ones must come from non-organic ingredients that have been approved on the National List. These products can also display the USDA organic logo and/or the certifier's logo.
Made With Organic Ingredients. Must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients, three of which must be listed on the package. The remaining 30% of non-organic ingredients must be approved on the National List. These products may display the certifier's logo but not the USDA organic logo.

So next time you go out shopping for organic products make sure the green USDA organic label is displayed.

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