OTA responded to the June 13 story Think globally, eat locally by Julile Nardone.
OTA's response: This article cites erroneous information that has been circulating in the press in recent years. The real facts are that only those non-organic agricultural products that have gone through a public review process may be used as part of the 5% minor ingredients in products sold as Organic (95 percent or more ingredients by weight must be organic), and then only after approval by a USDA accredited certifying agent that has double checked that the item is not commercially available as organic. Due to rulemaking going back to 2005, the number of non-organic agricultural ingredients to be allowed as minor ingredients organic products decreased dramatically. Before that action, any agricultural ingredients could be used in less than 5% of the ingredients in products labeled as 'Organic.' The key is that these products must only be used if organic versions of these ingredients are not commercially available and that they have been publicly reviewed and are agriculturally based.
For more information about organic agriculture, go to OTA’s new consumer web site, http://www.organicitsworthit.org/.
New Media Manager & Staff Writer
Organic Trade Association