As of this moment, there are still no standards created for organic pet food. However, experts are continuously convening on this subject so that there will finaly be a standard in place for the Organic pet food industry to use as guidelines. Meanwhile, human standards apply, including labeling of pet food products. However, following the standards is not mandatory, so be wary and know the standards.

Note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has put a set of National Standards that all foods labeled "organic" must meet, whether grown locally or imported form other countries.

How is organic food different from conventionally produced food?

Here are some facts that distinguish organic foods from conventionally produced foods.

Organic foods are produced by farmers with the emphasis on the use of renewable resources and conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.

Animals are not given antibiotics or growth hormones.

Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that have not been given said substances.

Vegetables, fruits, crops, grains and other plant matter are produced without using pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, bioengineering, inonizing radiation, sewage sludge, etc.

Government approved certifier inspects where the food is grown to make sure the farmer followed all the rules to meet USDA standards.

Companies who process foods before they get to your local grocery store should be inspected and certified to.

Is organic food better than conventional food?

Even the USDA does not say that organic food is better, nor more nutritious, than treated and processed.

How can a consumer know how to spot organic food?

Like with any other product, you must look at the labels. Apart from organic standards, the USDA also enforces a strict labeling rule to help consumers know the organic content of products.

What are the USDA labeling requirements?

Single ingredient foods are plastered with sitckers saying "Organic" " plus a small sticker version of the USDA Organic seal, such as vegetables, fruits. The word "organic and seal may also appear on meat packages, milk, egg and cheese cartons.

For foods with several ingredients, it depends on how much of the over-all ingredients used are actually organic. USDA has come up with labeling food items based on percentage:

100 percent organic ingredients

5-100 percent organic ingredients

made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients

less than 70 percent organic ingredients (foods with less than 70% organic ingredients can sometimes opt to list specific organic ingredients on one side of their package and not have the "organic" word and seal infront. Use of the USDA seal is voluntary).

Is "organic" the same as "natural"?

Organic and natural are not the same thing. Other claims such as free-range, hormone-free and natural may appear on labels of food packages but it doesn’t mean the same as "organic". Only foods with the word "Organic" are certified by the USDA to have met their standards.