When is “USDA Organic” not organic? More often than you probably realize. The USDA keeps a “National List” of inorganic products that can legally go into foods labeled as organic. The casings for those tasty USDA Organic sausages can come from conventionally raised animals that have been fed antibiotics. The hops in your favorite organic beer can be sprayed with all manner of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Strawberries can be labeled as organic even if they had their start in a conventional nursery.
According to USDA rules, if 95 percent of a product is made up of organic ingredients, it can be called organic. If it’s 70 percent organic, the label can read “made with organic ingredients.”