Organic Labeling

How to Read Organic Labels

Knowing where your food comes from is becoming more important to more people. Because organic foods are certified, organic is one of the most reliable labels on food. In the U.S., all food products labeled with “organic” must be certified by an agency accredited by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). There are three categories within that, which indicate required percentages of organic ingredients in a product, and the specific wording on the label is regulated.

100% Organic

  • Product must contain only organically produced material, excluding water and salt.

  • The name of the certifying agent must appear on packages. Use of the USDA "organic" seal is optional.

Organic

  • Product must be made with at least 95% organically produced ingredients.

  • Remainder must consist of nonagricultural substances approved on the USDA's National List of non-organically produced agricultural products that are not commercially available in organic form.

  • The label may also state the percentage of organic ingredients.

  • The name of the certifying agent must appear on packages. Use of the USDA "organic" seal is optional.

Made with Organic Ingredients

  • Product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.

  • Remainder can consist of conventionally grown agricultural ingredients or approved nonagricultural substances from the USDA's National List.

  • Product may display the term "Made With Organic..." and then list up to three of the product's organic ingredients or types of food. (For example: "Made with organic dates, raisins and apricots" or "Made with organic grains, nuts and berries.") The label may also state the percentage of organic ingredients.

  • The name of the certifying agent must appear on packages. Use of the USDA "organic" seal is prohibited.

Organic: Behind the Label 

Now that you’ve got organic labeling down, perhaps you want toUSDA Organic Sealget more info about organic agriculture and the organic products we offer. Or see the complete and official picture by checking out the USDA Organic Rule and National Organic Program.

 

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