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Answers

Question

What is the Scientific definition of Organic Food?

Submitted by: Ravichandran Vanchinathan


Answer

Expert response from Cathleen Enright

Former Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information

Wednesday, 21/08/2013 15:06

Actually, there is no scientific definition of organic food.  The National Organic Program (NOP) is a marketing program that certifies that the crop has been produced using a specific set of legally defined methods and products approved by that program. 

 

There are standards that must be followed in organic production.  These standards allow for the use of program-approved herbicides and pesticides, required certain agricultural practices be followed and require completion of a formal certification process to verify that the standards are followed.  You can see these at the website: 

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop

 

In the United States, no food can be labeled "organic" unless it complies with the requirements of the NOP.  Qualified products can bear the "USDA Organic" seal.   It is a certification program only; there is nothing that you can measure to verify that it is organic.