GREENFIELD, Mass. (April 23, 2002)--Consumers are beginning to notice the new organic food labels, according to a nationwide consumer opinion poll conducted by RoperASW on behalf of the Organic Trade Association, the business group for the organic industry in North America.
Six months after the implementation of the new federal standards for organic food production and labeling, a majority (51 percent) of U.S. women have seen the USDA organic seal where they do most of their food shopping. Overall, 47 percent of Americans report seeing the “USDA organic” seal where they shop for food. In addition to women, younger baby boomers rule in terms of awareness of organic products, with 53 percent of consumers aged 35-49 reporting that they have seen the seal where they shop.
"Awareness of this new seal is on target, and consumers can rest assured that products with the seal have met stringent standards for organic production,” said Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association. “Use of the USDA seal is voluntary, but this awareness among consumers indicates that many products include the seal on their packaging.”
Organic products start on farms that build healthy soil, that protect the health of water resources, and that are prohibited from using toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. In order to use the USDA seal, organic products must come from organic farms and production facilities that have been verified as meeting the U.S. organic standards.
Multi-ingredient food products bearing the seal contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients, and single ingredient farm products with the seal have been grown and handled using organic methods exclusively. Foods containing at least 70 percent organic ingredients can use a “made with organic” statement on the main product label. Products with less than seventy percent organic ingredients can indicate on the ingredients list which items are organic. The national organic standards, under development for over a decade, were implemented Oct. 21, 2002.
The OTA poll was conducted by RoperASW utilizing its national Omnibus service, Omnitel. RoperASW completed telephone interviews with 1,025 people selected at random. The interviews were conducted April 11-13. The sample has a margin of error of + or – 3% at a 95% level of confidence.
April 23, 2003
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