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    Organic Food - What It Means And The List Of Artificial Ingredients Allowed
    By News Staff | August 26th 2010 12:00 AM | 6 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Given an aggressive public relations campaign designed to obscure facts about the organic food industry, we are clarifying what an 'organic' label means and does not mean.

    To be certified 'organic' a producer needs to prepare documentation (fill out forms) testifying they obey the guidelines below and pay a fee.  There is no 'on the spot' checking of farms to insure compliance.

    Organic regulations restrict and in some cases ban additives like preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and flavorings, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).  

    95% of the food must obey those guidelines.  Not 100%, 95%.  And in the 95% there are exemptions provided by the National Organic Program.  Why only 95% and why are there exemptions?  Because the farmers trying to be organic would be out of business if there were actual purity requirements, so the National Organic Program lists the 5% as 'essential' and have amended those over time so the list is substantial.

    § 205.105  in the USDA guidelines reads:

    To be sold or labeled as “100 percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic (specified ingredients or food group(s)),” the product must be produced and handled without the use of:

    (a) Synthetic substances and ingredients, except as provided in §205.601 or §205.603;

    (b) Nonsynthetic substances prohibited in §205.602 or §205.604;

    (c) Nonagricultural substances used in or on processed products, except as otherwise provided in §205.605;

    (d) Nonorganic agricultural substances used in or on processed products, except as otherwise provided in §205.606;

    (e) Excluded methods, except for vaccines: Provided, That, the vaccines are approved in accordance with §205.600(a);

    (f) Ionizing radiation, as described in Food and Drug Administration regulation, 21 CFR 179.26; and

    (g) Sewage sludge.

    *****

    So your organic food doesn't have sewage sludge but it does have drugs.  Radiation would likely be good for the food but the science is unclear so that makes sense.



    The list of inorganic (synthetic) ingredients allowed in organic food:

    Added June 7, 2006

    (a) Cornstarch (native)

    (b) Gums—water extracted only (arabic, guar, locust bean, carob bean)

    (c) Kelp—for use only as a thickener and dietary supplement

    (d) Lecithin—unbleached

    (e) Pectin (high-methoxy)


    Added June 27, 2007:

    (a) Casings, from processed intestines.

    (b) Celery powder.

    (c) Chia ( Salvia hispanica L. ).

    (d) Colors derived from agricultural products.

    (1) Annatto extract color (pigment CAS # 1393–63–1)—water and oil soluble.

    (2) Beet juice extract color (pigment CAS # 7659–95–2).

    (3) Beta-carotene extract color, derived from carrots (CAS # 1393–63–1).

    (4) Black currant juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (5) Black/Purple carrot juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (6) Blueberry juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (7) Carrot juice color (pigment CAS # 1393–63–1).

    (8) Cherry juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (9) Chokeberry—Aronia juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (10) Elderberry juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (11) Grape juice color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (12) Grape skin extract color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (13) Paprika color (CAS # 68917–78–2)—dried, and oil extracted.

    (14) Pumpkin juice color (pigment CAS # 127–40–2).

    (15) Purple potato juice (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (16) Red cabbage extract color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (17) Red radish extract color (pigment CAS #'s: 528–58–5, 528–53–0, 643–84–5, 134–01–0, 1429–30–7, and 134–04–3).

    (18) Saffron extract color (pigment CAS # 1393–63–1).

    (19) Turmeric extract color (CAS # 458–37–7).

    (e) Dillweed oil (CAS # 8006–75–5).

    (f) Fish oil (Fatty acid CAS #'s: 10417–94–4, and 25167–62–8)—stabilized with organic ingredients or only with ingredients on the National List, §§205.605 and 205.606.

    (g) Fructooligosaccharides (CAS # 308066–66–2).

    (h) Galangal, frozen.

    (i) Gelatin (CAS # 9000–70–8).

    (j) Gums—water extracted only (Arabic; Guar; Locust bean; and Carob bean).

    (k) Hops ( Humulus luplus ).

    (l) Inulin-oligofructose enriched (CAS # 9005–80–5).

    (m) Kelp—for use only as a thickener and dietary supplement.

    (n) Konjac flour (CAS # 37220–17–0).

    (o) Lecithin—unbleached.

    (p) Lemongrass—frozen.

    (q) Orange shellac-unbleached (CAS # 9000–59–3).

    (r) Pectin (high-methoxy).

    (s) Peppers (Chipotle chile).

    (t) Starches.

    (1) Cornstarch (native).

    (2) Rice starch, unmodified (CAS # 977000–08–0)—for use in organic handling until June 21, 2009.

    (3) Sweet potato starch—for bean thread production only.

    (u) Turkish bay leaves.

    (v) Wakame seaweed ( Undaria pinnatifida ).

    (w) Whey protein concentrate.


    Added December 13, 2010:

    (g) Fortified cooking wines.

    (1) Marsala.

    (2) Sherry.

     (v) Tragacanth gum (CAS #–9000–65–1).

    The list of inorganic (synthetic) substances allowed in growing organic food:

    (1) Alcohols.

    (i) Ethanol-disinfectant and sanitizer only, prohibited as a feed additive.

    (ii) Isopropanol-disinfectant only.

    (2) Aspirin-approved for health care use to reduce inflammation.

    (3) Biologics—vaccines.

    (4) Chlorhexidine—allowed for surgical procedures conducted by a veterinarian. Allowed for use as a teat dip when alternative germicidal agents and/or physical barriers have lost their effectiveness.

    (5) Chlorine materials—disinfecting and sanitizing facilities and equipment. Residual chlorine levels in the water shall not exceed the maximum residual disinfectant limit under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

    (i) Calcium hypochlorite.

    (ii) Chlorine dioxide.

    (iii) Sodium hypochlorite.

    (6) Electrolytes—without antibiotics.

    (7) Glucose.

    (8) Glycerine—allowed as a livestock teat dip, must be produced through the hydrolysis of fats or oils.

    (9) Hydrogen peroxide.

    (10) Iodine.

    (11) Magnesium sulfate.

    (12) Oxytocin—use in postparturition therapeutic applications.

    (13) Paraciticides. Ivermectin-prohibited in slaughter stock, allowed in emergency treatment for dairy and breeder stock when organic system plan-approved preventive management does not prevent infestation. Milk or milk products from a treated animal cannot be labeled as provided for in subpart D of this part for 90 days following treatment. In breeder stock, treatment cannot occur during the last third of gestation if the progeny will be sold as organic and must not be used during the lactation period for breeding stock.

    (14) Phosphoric acid—allowed as an equipment cleaner, Provided, That, no direct contact with organically managed livestock or land occurs.

    (b) As topical treatment, external parasiticide or local anesthetic as applicable.

    (1) Copper sulfate.

    (2) Iodine.

    (3) Lidocaine—as a local anesthetic. Use requires a withdrawal period of 90 days after administering to livestock intended for slaughter and 7 days after administering to dairy animals.

    (4) Lime, hydrated—as an external pest control, not permitted to cauterize physical alterations or deodorize animal wastes.

    (5) Mineral oil—for topical use and as a lubricant.

    (6) Procaine—as a local anesthetic, use requires a withdrawal period of 90 days after administering to livestock intended for slaughter and 7 days after administering to dairy animals.

    (c) As feed supplements. None.

    (d) As feed additives.

    (1) DL–Methionine, DL–Methionine-hydroxy analog, and DL–Methionine-hydroxy analog calcium (CAS #59–51–8; 63–68–3; 348–67–4) for use only in organic poultry production until October 21, 2008.

    (2) Trace minerals, used for enrichment or fortification when FDA approved.

    (3) Vitamins, used for enrichment or fortification when FDA approved.

    (e) As synthetic inert ingredients as classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for use with nonsynthetic substances or a synthetic substances listed in this section and used as an active pesticide ingredient in accordance with any limitations on the use of such substances.

    Sucrose octanoate esters (CAS #s—42922–74–7; 58064–47–4)—in accordance with approved labeling. 

    The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
    § 205.600 Evaluation criteria for allowed and prohibited substances, methods, and ingredients.

    The following criteria will be utilized in the evaluation of substances or ingredients for the organic production and handling sections of the National List:


    (a) Synthetic and nonsynthetic substances considered for inclusion on or deletion from the National List of allowed and prohibited substances will be evaluated using the criteria specified in the Act (7 U.S.C. 6517 and 6518).


    (b) In addition to the criteria set forth in the Act, any synthetic substance used as a processing aid or adjuvant will be evaluated against the following criteria:


    (1) The substance cannot be produced from a natural source and there are no organic substitutes;


    (2) The substance's manufacture, use, and disposal do not have adverse effects on the environment and are done in a manner compatible with organic handling;


    (3) The nutritional quality of the food is maintained when the substance is used, and the substance, itself, or its breakdown products do not have an adverse effect on human health as defined by applicable Federal regulations;


    (4) The substance's primary use is not as a preservative or to recreate or improve flavors, colors, textures, or nutritive value lost during processing, except where the replacement of nutrients is required by law;


    (5) The substance is listed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used in accordance with FDA's good manufacturing practices (GMP) and contains no residues of heavy metals or other contaminants in excess of tolerances set by FDA; and


    (6) The substance is essential for the handling of organically produced agricultural products.
    (c) Nonsynthetics used in organic processing will be evaluated using the criteria specified in the Act (7 U.S.C. 6517 and 6518).


    § 205.601 Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production.


    In accordance with restrictions specified in this section, the following synthetic substances may be used in organic crop production: Provided, That, use of such substances do not contribute to contamination of crops, soil, or water. Substances allowed by this section, except disinfectants and sanitizers in paragraph (a) and those substances in paragraphs (c), (j), (k), and (l) of this section, may only be used when the provisions set forth in §205.206(a) through (d) prove insufficient to prevent or control the target pest.

    Comments

    This article by "news staff" doesn't really tell much. Doesn't even prove it's own points. Its more like you would have a complaint about Organically Grown no matter what, while you continue to eat your Fritos and Twinkies or whatever is your comfort junk food you are addicted to.

    Gerhard Adam
    Actually it tells quite a lot to those that wish to argue what words like "natural" mean.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Doesn't even prove it's own points.
    It shouldn't be out to prove a point, it is just informational.  I mean, why try to convince people their magic water is not magic?  Or try to convince people who are allergic to GMOs that they might as well claim they are allergic to radio waves?   People who want to believe in psychics and astrology overwhelmingly also believe organic food is nutritionally and structurally superior to any other food.  So it goes, but this article is not for those people, it is for people who just want actual transparency regarding what is in food.
    Would you be able to provide sources for this information?

    Hank
    It says it in the article. Example: § 205.105 in the USDA guidelines. This puts all the additions and exemptions in one easy-to-find place for the audience.
    That's just the first seven guidelines. Where's the rest?