An overview of key requirements and the various labeling categories allowed under the USDA organic regulations. Organic product labels must be reviewed and approved by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before being used in the marketplace.
Organic products must be produced using agricultural production practices that foster resource cycling, promote ecological balance, maintain and improve soil and water quality, minimize the use of synthetic materials, and conserve biodiversity. Products must be:
The registered trademark protects the “USDA organic” name and logo from misuse by giving the USDA intellectual property rights to restrict the use of the registered mark, or a confusingly similar one, in agricultural production and handling. The new authority, which protects all certified farms and businesses, applies to products displaying the USDA organic seal within the U.S. and at its borders.
Certified organic operations are not required to change their labels to include the registration mark of the seal, and certified organic products currently in the marketplace still meet the requirements of certification. Operations may choose either version of the seal and existing labels do not need to be revised or discarded.
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