The Term “Natural” Is Not Equivalent To “Organic”
Although the phrases “natural” and “organic” are often substituted for each other, the two terms have vastly different meanings.
Food products deemed natural do not contain any artificial ingredients.
However, the FDA has not developed a definition and therefore “natural” has no regulatory meaning.
In contrast, organic products must be grown, processed, and handled without the use of GMOs, conventional pesticides, synthetic chemicals, or other illegal practices.
Organic Products Undergo Rigorous Examination
The term, “organic”, refers to how a product or food is grown and processed.
The systems can differ from country to country but typically involve the same components.
That is, the producers, handlers, and manufacturers of the final product must all undergo a rigorous organic certifying process by an accredited agent.
This is accomplished through on-site inspections and a thorough audit of each company’s organic system plan.
Documentation is reviewed as well.
With that said, organic certification does not necessarily mean that a product is free of all impurities.
Sometimes a product or food is affected by natural forces that are beyond human control.
However, because of the strict practices these products and food go through, the impact of foreign matter is quite limited.
Look For The Label
For brands to label their products as organic, their operations must be inspected and certified by an official organic certifying agent.
However, in the United States, companies that sell less than $5,000 a year in these agricultural products are exempt from certification.
These businesses can label their products as organic if they abide by the standards, but they cannot display the USDA organic seal.