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Labeling Organic Products

In seeking organic products in the marketplace, consumers should look for the USDA Organic Seal or a certifier name on the label. The U.S. Department of Agriculture outlines four categories of organic labels, based on the percentage of organic content in the product. The first three categories are CERTIFIED products under the USDA National Organic Program's standards. This means that not only are the organic ingredients in processed products certified, but the facilities that handle and process the products are inspected and certified as well. The USDA seal however may only be used on products that are "100 percent organic" and "95% Organic." 

 

1. 100 % ORGANIC

Products produced using exclusively organic methods, containing only organic ingredients, are allowed to carry a label declaring “100 percent organic” and may use the USDA Organic Seal. Note that the other 5% must be non-GMO and on the National List.
 
 

2. ORGANIC

Products produced using exclusively organic methods that contain at least 95% organic ingredients may use the USDA Organic Seal.

 
 
 

3. MADE WITH ORGANIC

Products with 70% to 95% organic ingredients may display "Made with organic [with up to three specified ingredients or food groups]" on the front panel. The USDA Organic Seal may not be used, however products in this category MUST be certified through the same USDA organic certification process that is required for "100% Organic" and "Organic" label.
 
 
 

NOTE: Any non-organic ingredients used in the above labeling categories may not be produced using genetic engineering, irradiation or sewage sludge.
 

INGREDIENT PANEL

Products with less than 70% organic ingredients can only list the organic items on the ingredient panel. The USDA Organic Seal must not be used. No organic claim is allowed on the front panel of the product. 

 
 

Learn more

Organic Labeling Standards              USDA-AMS Presentation on Labeling


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