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USDA Issues Draft Guidance on Labeling, Composition and Use of Percentage Statements in 'Made with Organic (Specified Ingredients or Food Groups)' Products

Friday, January 14, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has issued a draft guidance for the organic industry to address the labeling, composition and use percentage statements in "made with organic (specified ingredients or food groups)" products

According to the guidance, products within the "made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))" labeling category must contain at least 70 percent certified organic agricultural products. The remaining 30 percent may include agricultural ingredients which are conventionally produced.  These ingredients must not have been produced using excluded methods (e.g. genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation) but may be produced using synthetic substances not appearing on the  National List in Sec. 205.605 of the Natural Organic Program (NOP) regulations and synthetic ingredients or processing aids that are listed within Sec. 205.605.

Regarding percentage statements, the rule states that the "made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)" statement is essential to clarify the product category and may be used without the percentage statement. If used, a percentage statement must be accompanied by the statement, "made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s))'" when displayed on packages of products in this category, which are described in Sec. 205.301(c).

The correct formats for "made with organic" statements are: "made with organic (specified ingredients); or (specified food groups),'" provided that the statement does not list more than three organically produced ingredients or food groups.

A claim of "100% organic" should only be used for products that qualify under Sec.  205.301(a). The `"100% organic" claim refers to a particular labeling category within the NOP regulations and should not be used in combination with other NOP labeling categories.

Comments on this draft guidance may be submitted on or before March 14, 2011. Submit comments online at: http://www.regulations.gov/ or by mail to Toni Strother,  Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS- NOP, Room 2646-So., Ag Stop 0268, 1400 Independence Ave., SW.,  Washington, DC 20250-0268. Written comments responding to this request should be identified with the document number AMS-NOP-10-0045; NOP-10-03.

To view the Federal Notice on the draft guidance, click here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-01-13/html/2011-573.htm


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