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Legal Definition Of The Word ‘Organic’

Benefits of Organic
feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - What are the legal regulations about use of the word “organic” on food products?

When you see the word “organic” on a food label, what it means and what it says to you are apparently two different things.

The USDA says that organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge. That’s good. You know, kind of a low bar, but ok.

But in a recent study conducted by Cornell University, subjects estimated the calorie count to be lower in products marked organic, believed the food to be tastier and healthier and were willing to pay more for it. This despite the fact that there’s been no evidence that organic products are in fact better for your health and despite the embarrassing fact for study participants that the only difference in the two products, which were actually identical, was the word organic on the label.

So, when you’re deciding what to buy, check the nutritional content on the back of the product, not the word organic on the front.

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