Organic production is defined and regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Program. According to the regulations, organic food and fiber must be produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, (“natural” pesticides are permitted), fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients, antibiotics, growth hormones or bioengineering.
Producers of USDA Certified Organic products may choose to use the USDA organic label. Organic foods can be labeled in four ways:
- 100 % organic – All ingredients in the product are organic. The USDA Organic logo may be used.
- Organic – A minimum of 95 % of the ingredients are organic. The USDA Organic logo may be used.
- Made with organic ingredients – 70 to 94% of the product is organic. The USDA Organic logo may not be used.
- Organic ingredients listed on panel only – The food contains less than 70% organic ingredients. The term “organic” may only be used to describe the specific organic ingredients.
Current scientific research does not show a significant difference in the safety or nutritional content of organic and conventionally produced food.