Organic Products -The Requirements that Need to Be Met

Organic products are becoming increasingly popular and are carried in many major department stores, shopping malls as well as most grocery stores. You can easily find organic items such as cosmetic products, cleaning products, hair products, cotton sheets and the increasingly popular organic food products. If you are looking for organic items for you and your family it is important to be knowledgeable of the organic guidelines when reading the labels.

With regard to organic food the USDA has provided seals to organic farmers and food processors which verify the items are organic. The government designed the criteria that must be followed in order to claim your products are organic. The government requires that companies producing and selling organic products must have their products verified as conforming to or exceeding the USDA regulations for qualifying as an organic product.

An exemption has been made by the USDA for farmers with gross sales below $5000 from organic food products who sell their items directly to the public or to retailers. These farmers are allowed to inform the public that their products are organic; however they are not allowed to place the official organic seal on their products.

USDA and Regulations

According to the USDA, if you want the opportunity to place their organic seal on your food items and products you are prohibited from using irradiation on food items. Sewage sludge and genetically modified organisms are not allowed in the process of producing organic foods. The USDA regulators also want organic food processors and growers to go along with the recommendations provided by the NOSB regarding allowable synthetic substances as well as natural substances that are not allowed in food products.

The USDA has divided the organic products into four categories based on the percentage amount of organic substances that is found in a product. The official USDA organic seal can be placed on products if the products have been certified as 100 per cent organic. Products that contain, at minimum 95 per cent organic substances regarding their weight (excluding salt and water content) are allowed to wear the organic seal.

Producers of items that contain, at a minimum 70 per cent of organic substances have the option of placing a label on their products that states "Made with Organic" and have the opportunity to mention up to three substances contained in the product. Products that contain less than 70 per cent of organic substances are allowed by the USDA to list the organic substances on the ingredients label on the product however there are forbidden from placing the word organic on the main label. If you are looking for organic food products make sure you read the labels.