What is the difference between foods labeled Organic and those labeled Natural? If you are trying to avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and pesticides the only label that really tells you is the “USDA Organic” label.

The word “Natural” is not regulated by the USDA nor the FDA. You can put it on anything you like. But to use the “USDA Organic” label you must comply with the organic regulations. The organic movement made their own rules as a grassroots organization when it first started out. When ‘organic’ first became popular, food companies started using the word organic on most everything. This lead to the government eventually set up the “USDA Organic” label based upon the rules of the original organization to form the regulations you must meet in order to use it. So if you see the USDA Organic seal on a product, you know it has conformed to all the organic regulations, and the farm is inspected at least once a year to be sure it is complying with all rules. Unable to use the word “Organic” companies have moved to using the word “Natural”, which has no regulations from the FDA nor USDA attached to it.

-Chris K.

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