What does Organic Mean?
Organic agriculture refers to a form of production that is without pesticides. The term organic can be used by companies for prepared foods, etc as well. If you pick up an apple and see that it says organic then it is most likely certified “organic” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”).
USDA Definition and Regulations:
The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), enacted under Title 21 of the 1990 Farm Bill, served to establish uniform national standards for the production and handling of foods labeled as “organic.” The Act authorized a new USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to set national standards for the production, handling, and processing of organically grown agricultural products. In addition, the Program oversees mandatory certification of organic production. The Act also established the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) which advises the Secretary of Agriculture in setting the standards upon which the NOP is based. Producers who meet standards set by the NOP may label their products as “USDA Certified Organic.”
The USDA National Organic Standard Seal not only shows your ongoing commitment to a healthy planet but assures consumers and buyers that your product meets stringent USDA organic certification requirements, thus will make your product more marketable and profitable.
USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing, among many factors, soil quality, animal raising practices, pest and weed control, and use of additives. Organic producers rely on natural substances and physical, mechanical, or biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.
Are you starting an business and want your to use the term organic or have your products certified organic? We are here to help.
What Does it Mean to be Organic?
Does Organic Mean it is Free of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)?
Buying one-hundred (100) organic, certified organic, and USDA organic-labeled products is the easiest way to identify and avoid GMO ingredients. The United States government does not allow companies to label products “100% Certified Organic” if they contain GMO ingredients.
How do I Obtain This Certification?
Are there any other certifications that I need or that you suggest?
- The USDA’s National Organic Program overview page
- The USDA’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
- The USDA’s Organic 101 blog
- A 2011 USDA policy memo in response to confusion over GMOs in organics
- The National Organic Standards Board Policy and Procedures Manual