US consumers to enjoy new Organic labelling

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Related tags: National organic program, Organic food, Genetically modified organism

US consumers to enjoy new Organic labellingAmerican shoppers will
soon find a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) label on organic
fruits, vegetables...

US consumers to enjoy new Organic labellingAmerican shoppers will soon find a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) label on organic fruits, vegetables and meats produced without pesticides or hormones, the Clinton administration said on Wednesday as it announced new rules on organic food, Reuters reported Wednesday. The organic standards had been eagerly sought by U.S. food companies, environmentalists and some lawmakers to help guide consumers seeking alternatives to genetically modified crops and hormone-injected livestock. "This is the strongest and most comprehensive organic standard in the world," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said at a news conference. Under the new national standard, foods labelled "organic" cannot include bioengineered ingredients or be irradiated to kill bacteria and lengthen shelf life. Meats sold as organic cannot be produced from animals that receive antibiotics. Consumers will be able to recognize organic products by a USDA mark they will carry, similar to the "USDA Prime" identification on beef or the grade labels on egg cartons. Foods will be labeled "100 percent organic," "organic" or "made with organic ingredients," depending on ingredients. Products labelled "organic" must consist of at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. Foods "made with organic ingredients" must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Food manufacturers will be allowed to label their products' exact percentage of organic content, the USDA said. Processed products that contain less than 70 percent ingredients cannot use the term organic anywhere on the principal display panel, the USDA continued. The label "organic" had previously fallen under a mixture of state, regional and private certifier standards, giving rise to confusion about its meaning.

Related topics: Policy

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