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That which is considered to be "Organic", has varied from State to State and producer to producer. The toughest definition of organic has come from the state of California. When a grower or processor claims that its' product is Organic "According the the California Foods Act of 1990", that grower/processor is claiming that there were:
- No Pesticides or fertilizers used in their products, and that the soil was tended to in a natural and beneficial manner.
- No transgenic ingredients, or ingredients where genes were transferred across species, were used. (aka, No GMO's!)
- No irradiation was used.
- No processed human sewage/sludge was used as fertilizer.
However, as of October 21,2002, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) defines organic as follows:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.
We highly recommend your reading the entire ingredients on a product before purchase, regardless of what that front label may say. And that you avoid non-organic products and by-products of the crops listed under GMO above, until someone can prove that they will not harm us or our environment in the long-run.