The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Organic Program (NOP) has issued final guidance on the use of “Made with Organic ***” claims on product labeling. According to NOP, the guidance seeks to clarify “the following aspects of products in this labeling category”: (i) “composition”; (ii) “compliant organic labeling claims”; (iii) “organic and nonorganic forms of the same ingredient”; (iv) “percentage of organic ingredients statements”; and (v) “ingredients or food groups in the ‘made with organic * * *’ claim.”
Available through “The Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents and Certified Operations,” the new policies reflect NOP’s current thinking on organic product labeling. In particular, “Made with Organic ***” products “must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients, excluding salt and water”; “may contain up to 30 percent nonorganic ingredients,” provided any nonagricultural ingredient is allowed by the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances; and “must not contain any ingredient that was produced using excluded methods, such as genetic engineering, sewage sludge, or ionizing radiation.” If a product meets these requirements, then it can use a “Made with Organic” statement for up to three ingredients, food groups or a combination of ingredients and food groups. In addition, the agency has barred the use of generic organic ingredient claims (e.g., “Made with Organic Ingredients”) and now requires that product ingredient lists include both the organic and nonorganic forms of the same ingredient (e.g., “organic flour, organic sugar, organic butter, nonorganic butter”). See Federal Register, May 1, 2014.