What does USDA Certified Organic mean?

This growing interest in organic foods prompted the USDA to develop National Organic Standards (NOS) in 2002. The NOS implemented under the USDA’s National Organic Program provide specific criteria that food producers must meet during production, handling, and processing to label their products “organic.”

As a result of these standards, you can be confident that if the food is labeled as "certified organic", it was produced and handled using specific guidelines and certified by a USDA-accredited inspector.
Kate Geagan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Of all the seals, this is the most rigorous, as it’s a national program overseen by the USDA. Products with this label must be produced without the use of antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation, or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. If you see this label, you can be sure that the product is at least 95% organic, if not 100% organic. This is the best seal to prevent greenwashing in every aisle of the grocery store. Your meat, poultry and dairy products should be organic; animals are what they eat.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.