National Organic Program

Issues

National Organic Program

The Breakdown

• The National Organic Program is run by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provides regulation and guidance on certification, production, handling, and labeling of USDA organic products to ensure their integrity around the United States and the world.

“Organic” is a labeling term that indicates that food or other agricultural products have been produced through federally approved methods that integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices fostering the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

• Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used in organic foods.

• Consumers perceive organic foods to be less risky than regular foods. As a result, they pay a premium for food that they believe has the highest safety standards.

Our Position

• Stop Foodborne Illness supports pathogen-free food; both organic and non-organic.

• It is important to recognize that there is no federally-indicated distinction between organic and non-organic foods in terms of quality, appearance, or microbiological safety.

• Consumers, particularly at-risk consumers who are in less than perfect health or actively seeking healthier food products, must be protected and educated about the true meaning of the term “organic.”

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