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New Labels for Organic Foods - A. Brown

The March 2001 issue of Consumer Reports says that new labeling for organic foods has been adopted by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are already in effect, although farmers have until August 2002 to comply.

Here's what to look for:

"100% Organic" This label means that the product must contain only organic ingredients.
"Organic" Food must contain at least 95% organic ingredients (by weight or volume), excluding water and salt.
"Made with Organic Ingredients" Food must contain at least 70% organic ingredients.

The article says that the following foods are excluded from the labeling for now:

  • fish and seafood
  • beekeeping and honey
  • mushrooms
  • culinary herbs
  • pet food

Consumer Reports is setting up a Web site to keep current on environmental labeling for food and non-food items. Their site,, is expected to be active in late February.

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