Right now the most meaningful label on your food, in terms of upholding specific government requirements, is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic seal. For a product to be certified organic, it’s required to meet specific standards:
- Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or sewage sludge.
- Organic crops cannot be genetically engineered or irradiated.
- Animals must eat only organically grown feed (without animal byproducts) and can’t be treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics.
- Animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants (hoofed animals, including cows) must have access to pasture.
- Animals cannot be cloned.