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September 7th, 2007

38 Non-organic Ingredients Approved for “USDA Organic” Seal

Please do not shoot the messenger, but apparently you and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may have very different definitions for what is considered to be organic. Recently, despite receiving more than 10,000 opposing comments from consumers and family farmers, USDA has approved a rule that will let 38 new non-organic ingredients to be allowed in products bearing the “USDA Organic” seal. The USDA's passage of this proposal has resulted, among other things, in the following:

  • Anheuser Busch will be allowed to sell its "Organic Wild Hops Beer" without using any organic hops at all.

  • Sausages, brats, and breakfast links labeled as "USDA Organic" are now allowed to contain intestines from factory farmed animals raised on chemically grown feed, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics.

  • Products labeled as "USDA Organic" and containing fish oil may contain toxins such as PCBs and mercury.


It is believed that foods labeled as 100% organic will still be 100% organic. So, in coming months, look for “100% Organic” labels, and as always, whenever possible, try to buy your produce from local family farmers.

September 2007

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