What are the legal requirements for a product to be labeled organic?



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         For fruits, vegetables, and animal products a farm must meet several requirements to get the USDA seal, including:

    • Raising crops without most conventional pesticides or petroleum-based fertilizers
    • Not using genetically engineered crops
    • Not using most synthetic substances
    • Animals must be fed organic feed, have access to the outdoors, and be raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. 

        For multi-ingredient consumer products, anything made with more than 95% organic ingredients gets the USDA organic seal. Anything with at least 70% organic content is labeled “Made with organic ingredients”, and anything less than 70% organic can only list its organic ingredients on the ingredient list.

    Labeling a product “organic” when it doesn’t meet USDA standards can result in a fine of $11,000.


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