These regulated labels should appear on your grocer’s shelves in October 2002.
- 100% Organic: These foods must contain, excluding water and salt, only organically produced ingredients. The USDA seal can be used on these packages.
- Organic: These foods must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients, excluding water and salt. The USDA seal can be used on these packages.
- Made with organic ingredients: Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients can use this phrase and list up to three of the organic ingredients or food groups on the principal display panel. The USDA seal cannot be used on these packages, but the percentage of organic content and the certifier’s seal or mark may be used. The nonorganic ingredients (30 percent or less) may not be genetically engineered or include other prohibited methods such as irradiation or fertilization with sewage sludge. Products made with less than 70 percent organic ingredients can only identify organic ingredients in the ingredient statement and cannot use the USDA organic seal or a certifier’s seal or mark.
- Transitional: The “transitional organic” label is not allowed under the national organic rule at this time. In the past, this label has been used to signify that a farmer is using organic methods but hasn’t reached the three-year pesticide-free requirement. Under the new rule, however, the USDA is not allowing it. Some organic advocates support a transitional label, saying it can help farmers make the switch to organic methods by offering them access to a premium market, and are asking the USDA to reconsider this portion of the labeling guidelines.