The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the National Organic Program (NOP), which defines organic as such:
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.
Here’s how the USDA structures organic labeling:
- “100% Organic” – Foods that are completely organic or made with 100% organic ingredients may say “100% organic” and use the USDA seal.
- “Organic” – Foods that contain at least 95% organic ingredients may use the USDA seal.
- “Made with organic ingredients” – Foods that contain at least 70% organic ingredients may list specific organic ingredients on the front of the package, but cannot use the USDA seal.
- “Contains organic ingredients” – Foods that contain less than 70% organic ingredients may list specific organic ingredients on the information panel (typically the back or side) of the package and cannot use the USDA seal.
As you can see, there are varying degrees of organic and that last label can be especially deceptive. Less than 70% organic could be anything from 69% all the way down to 1%! When you’re reading the ingredients list and looking for which ones are organic, remember that the farther down it is on the list, the less of it there is (and vice versa).
One more thing, the USDA is the regulating agency for food, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the regulating agency for cosmetics and body care products. The FDA does not define or regulate organic body care, but if a body care product uses organic agricultural products, it can still get certification through the USDA program — in which case, the standards and labeling categories above apply exactly the same.
The organic standard certification for Longevity Botanicals is carried out through third-party certification agencies (like CERES or NASAA) who verify that clients are complying with the organic regulations.
iKosher Certification is the stamp of kosher approval by a Rabbinic Agency verifying they have checked the products ingredients, production facility and actual production to ensure all ingredients, derivatives, tools and machinery have no trace of non kosher substances.