As consumers demand healthier options in all areas of their lives, companies go out of their way to promote their products in an appealing manner. Natural, green, and organic products, which were previously limited to distribution in health food and specialty stores, are now widely available in regular grocery and department stores.
So, when consumers reach for products labeled as, green, natural, or organic, how do they know they are really buying a safe and better health choice? Unfortunately, in many cases, they don’t. Household cleaners are a perfect example of this. “Green” cleaners often contain some naturally derived ingredients as well as toxins consumers wish to avoid.
To further complicate matters, the ingredient list on these types of products is often incomplete. For example, the Green Works line includes some products, which received a grade of F as evaluated by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental and consumer protection agency.
USDA Organic Label
Consumers can protect themselves from misleading and incorrect labeling by purchasing products, which carry the USDA organic label. The USDA organic label requires products and distributors to meet stringent guidelines and third-party certification to carry the label. They can also use resources like those provided by the EWG to verify the safety and quality of products.
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How Do You Know If Something Is Organic?
If you’re a health-conscious consumer in search of organic products, foods, cosmetics, produce or household supplies, locating valid options may sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. Many products carry labels describing them as organic, green, or natural. On face value, you may assume those products are the same as certified organic products. This is not the case.
Only products meeting guidelines defined and implemented by National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and the National Organic Program (NOP) can carry the USDA organic label or the seals of USDA organic certifying agencies. USDA certified agencies monitor producers and distributors for compliance with the guidelines.
70 Percent Organic Ingredients
There are also different types of organic labels: 100 Percent Organic, Organic, and Made with Organic. Only products containing up to 70 percent organic ingredients may carry the USDA certified organic label. They are also the only products, which can legally make organic claims on their labeling. When in doubt, look for the green and white USDA organic certified label to ensure your purchase is organic.
Or Number 9
Organic produce can be recognized in two ways. They may be labeled with the USDA organic label. If you do not see the green and white label, you can check the item’s distribution code. All fruits and vegetables carry coding labels. Organic produce always carries codes beginning with the number, 9.