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Organic Labeling Confusion
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Program: Food Forethought
Date: May 15, 2014

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According to a recent study released last month by Academics Review today’s “organic buyer” has morphed from being an “individual seeking a closer relationship to farming production methods” to a consumer concerned about not only where their food comes from, but how it was produced and what it contains ingredient wise. This “Organic Marketing Report” shows that there’s quite a bit of confusion among consumers when it comes to organic food labeling, with most believing that the USDA’s organic seal on a product means that product is safer, healthier and more nutritious overall, which isn’t necessarily the case. But the organic food industry hasn’t gone out of it’s way to dissuade such misconceptions regarding the USDA organic seal either. The thing to remember is what then acting Secretary of Ag Dan Glickman stated when the organic seal was released thirteen years ago: “The organic label is a marketing tool. It is not a statement about food safety. Nor is ‘organic’ a value judgment about nutrition or quality”. But then the USDA hasn’t gone out of it’s way to impress that on a very impressionistic public either.  

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