This label is somewhat meaningful and verified. It means that at least 70% of the ingredients in the product, including those specified, are certified organic. The organic ingredients are produced in accordance with the federal organic standards, which are designed to promote a sustainable system of agriculture with minimal synthetic inputs such as pesticides, antibiotics and more. The remaining 30% of ingredients do not have to be certified organic; federal standards do prohibit the use of genetic engineering, irradiation and sewage sludge for all ingredients.
This label can be found on: Processed foods and beverages
PROGRAM NAME: USDA Organic
ORGANIZATION: National Organic Program - Agricultural Marketing Service - United States Department of Agriculture
LABEL STANDARDS: Standards are federal regulations available in the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR 205).
What this label means
How meaningful is this label?
This label is somewhat meaningful and verified.
A product with a “made with organic [specified ingredients]” (e.g., "made with organic wheat and tomatoes") labeling claim contains at least 70% agricultural ingredients that were produced in accordance with the organic standards, which promote sustainable agriculture practices, including the elimination of toxic synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and other synthetic inputs.
The remaining 30% non-organic ingredients, if they are agricultural, can be produced with the use of synthetic inputs (e.g., crops grown with the use of synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers), drugs (e.g., meat from animals given antibiotics and artificial growth hormones) and chemical processing aids (e.g., synthetic solvents for oil extraction). The remaining 30% cannot be genetically engineered, irradiated, or produced with sewage sludge.
Because 70% of ingredients have to be certified organic, rather than 95-100% which is required for the “organic” label and the use of the “USDA Organic” seal, the “made with organic [ingredients]” is not as meaningful as the “organic” label.