ORGANIC FOODS: USDA Labels Will Hit Market Soon
The nation's first organic labeling rules on food will take effect this summer, according to Keith Jones, head of the USDA's Organic Program, the Dayton Daily News reports. Jones said the new rules "require organic producers to go through a mandatory planning process, to use materials from a restrictive list and to have their farming practices verified by a federal authority." He also noted that the revised rules now "match industry standards" that exclude irradiated and genetically engineered products. Katherine DiMatteo, who heads the Greenville, Mass.-based Organic Trade Association said that despite the current self-regulatory framework, her industry needs the "promised federal regulations." DiMatteo said, "Without the government, we would not be able to enforce this program universally." According to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic produce and other products reached $6 billion last year, and industry analysts predict projected growth of 20% to 25% each year (1/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.