Send to friendPrinter-friendly version

Ask Our Experts

Will Daniels and John Foster
Food Safety & Organic Integrity Experts

Will Daniels (left) is head of our Quality, Food Safety and Organic Integrity (QFSOI) program. He believes that maintaining our commitment to organic also means constant vigilance over the quality and integrity of our organic food.

John Foster (right), senior QFSOI manager, uses his years of experience as farmer, researcher, instructor and inspector to enforce our exacting organic standards from field to package.

Ask a question
Q:

Why can a product bear the USDA Organic seal when it has only 95% organic ingredients?

A:

This is actually much more strict that it sounds. There are some ingredients that can’t be certified organic, like salt. There are also some ingredients that aren’t available in commercial quantities in organic form, but which also don’t violate the principles of the organic regulations. The National Organic Program standards maintain a very specific list of these items, which organic producers must adhere to — it can be found in the National Organic Program regulations, Part 205.600-205.606. The list includes things like “carrot juice color” and “pumpkin juice color” which are natural colorings, but may not have been produced organically. All together, the total of these non-organic ingredients may not be more than 5% of the product.   –John

Q:

What does “organic” mean?

A:

Organic farming uses environmentally friendly methods to grow healthy produce without the use of toxic synthetic chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers). Organic dairy products and meat are produced without the use of synthetic hormones or antibiotics, and the animals are fed organic feed and treated humanely. All organic products contain no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and are never irradiated. Organic processing also excludes the use of artificial preservatives, flavorings, colors or other additives.   –John

Subscribe to Comments for "Food Safety & Organic Integrity"