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Organic Certifications


USDA CERTIFIED

USDA certification requires that all levels and practices of farming and handling procedures, such as tilling, grazing, harvesting, storing and transporting and handling must follow USDA Organic Regulations. USDA Certified is a certification system that verifies farmers or handling facilities located anywhere in the world comply with the USDA Organic Regulations.

There are multiple levels of USDA organic certification.

CERTIFIED 100% ORGANIC

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Certified 100% Organic means that all the ingredients in a product have been grown or raised according to the USDA's organic standards, which are the rules for producing foods labeled organic. It means that 1. All the ingredients have been grown according to USDA's organic standards. 2. All ingredients and processing practices must be Certified Organic. 3. Products must be packaged in a Certified Organic facility. Certified Organic products must go through a process of certification by a third party to guarantee the integrity and purity of the product. Certifying requires an inspector evaluate the facility's receiving, processing, and storage areas used for organic ingredients and finished products. Inspections are done at least once a year to maintain certification. In addition, there are random checks to assure standards are being met.

usdaOrganic agricultural production can still use pesticides and herbicides that USDA's organic certification standards have okayed. Organic foods are not necessarily pesticide-free. In the United States, only pesticides that meet the criteria of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program may be used in organic crop production.


100% ORGANIC

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100% Organic labeled products must be packaged in an Inspected and Certified Organic Facility and must meet all standards for organic production and processing. 100% Organic ensures that it is packaged in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations for appropriate Organic labeling. Ingredients must be listed in order of weight, with the main ingredient first according to the amounts that were used to make the food, as well. 100% Organic products do not require the 3rd party testing and certification that Certified 100% Organic products do.


ORGANIC

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'Organic' labeled products must contain at least 95% Certified Organic ingredients to be classified as Organic. Products labeled as Organic must be packaged in a facility that is incompliance with all relevant rules and regulations for appropriate Organic labeling. Ingredients must be listed in order of weight, with the main ingredient first according to the amounts that were used to make the food, as well. Organic crops are produced without using 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, package or process organic food must be certified


MADE WITH ORGANIC

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'Made with' labeled products must contain at least 70% Certified Organic ingredients. The remaining 30% do not have to be Certified Organic, but may not be ingredients grown or produced using methods that are not considered compatible with organic production. These also, must be packaged in a facility that is appropriate Organic labeling. Ingredients must be listed in order of weight, with the main ingredient first according to the amounts that were used to make the food, as well.


ORGANIC SPECIFIC or PARTIALLY ORGANIC

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'Partially Organic' products can contain less than 70% Certified Organic ingredients, but may only identify as an Organic on their label's list of ingredients. They may not use the USDA Organic Seal and they may not use an Organic decal or image on their packaging. Products 'containing' organic ingredients must identify on their packaging labels which ingredients are Organic. These, like all products that are comprised of Ingredients, must list them in order of weight, with the main ingredient first according to the amounts that were used to make the food, as well.


WILDCRAFTED

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Wildcrafted and Wild-Harvested are terms used for gathering plants that are found in the wild, often in their native origin. Any plant that grows on its own, without human help, and in a natural (not cultivated) habitat, can fall under the wildcrafted designation. A plant or herb that is truly wildcrafted, is also organic. However, they cannot be certified as such because they are not under the control of growers and processors. Wildcrafters and foragers emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.


FDA APPROVED

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The Food and Drug Administration was created to set standards for the safe production and storage of food, beverages and drugs. Among the responsibilities of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is regulation of components of food contact materials, including packaging. They also look closely at things like preparation equipment and packaging materials. In addition to standards regulating what materials are safe to use, FDA standards also set rules for how these materials can be safely used when they are in contact with food products. "FDA compliant" means that a material meets all of the FDA's guidelines for safe, direct contact with food. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that food contact materials comply with the FDA's specifications.


GMP

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Good Manufacturing Practices are a set of guidelines maintained by the FDA to help promote consumer safety. The stated goal of GMP is to ensure the identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition of dietary supplements. Good Manufacturing Practices are the set of production standards that have been embraced by regulators, retailers and consumers in the food and drug industries. GMPs provide a basic assurance that a product was produced under industry-standard conditions such as:
•Building and facility conditions
•Equipment design and maintenance
•Employee practices
•Sanitation conditions
•Raw ingredient sourcing


QAI

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Quality Assurance International is a U.S.-based international organic certification company that is authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture as "a USDA-accredited certifying agent that operates globally to certify organic operations to National Organic Program standards. They assure compliance with organic standards for agricultural producers, food processing facilities, integrated manufacturing operations, contract packing operations, traders, distributors and retailers Worldwide.


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