Part 6: Appendix
Food Marketing Label Information
We developed the following key messages in collaboration with our wraparound services from the Extension Foundation.
O RGAN I C F OO D
1. All organic food is non-GMO. “ Organic ” does not mean no pesticides are used. All pesticides must be approved by the USDA. The standard for allowed pesticides is natural and non- synthetic, not safety. Some are toxic, and some are not. 2. Organic food may have slightly more of a certain nutrient but is similar overall in its nutritional makeup to non-organic food. Like non-organic food, the majority of organic food is produced by large farms, not necessarily local farms. Studies on the health benefits of organic food showed mixed results on being better for individual health not worse.
3. The term “organic” is a certification designation that comes from the USDA. It ha s nothing to do with safety, nutrition, or environmental health.
N A TU R A L F OO D
1. Natural foods can be GMOs and do not have to be organic. They can be grown with pesticides and the term “natural” can be added to any food product. “Natural” does not mean there is higher nutritional value, nor does it mean that it is non-toxic.
2. “Natural” labels address only how the food is processed and they identify food as not containing any artificial or synthetic ingredients.
3. There is no certification or regulatory process for the “natural” label.
4. The FDA and USDA have their own definitions of “natural,” stating there are no added artificial or synthetic ingredients. USDA is responsible for meat, poultry, and eggs; FDA regulates all other foods.
5. A “natural” label can be added to any food product. Manufacturers often add “natural” labels to foods to increase their marketability to consumers.
6. Foods labeled “natural” are not necessarily local, organic, or more nutritious than other foods — and they can be grown with pesticides or they can be raised with antibiotics and hormones.
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