What does it mean to consumers when it says “organic”?

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“It says it’s organic, but just what does that mean?” That’s a question a lot of consumers ask themselves when shopping for non-agricultural items like personal care products – and it will be the topic of discussion at an October 20, 2016, roundtable in Washington, DC.

The FTC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service will co-host the roundtable. Consumer advocates, industry representatives, academics and others will discuss how consumers interpret “organic” claims for products and services that generally fall outside the scope of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program. Also on the agenda is a recent FTC-USDA consumer perception study on organic claims.

The roundtable is open to the public and will take place at the FTC’s Constitution Center conference facility, 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington. We’ll post the agenda soon, but in the meantime, you can file a public comment online. We’re especially interested in research about how consumers perceive claims like this and will keep the public record open until December 1, 2016.

Just to be clear, the topic on the table is consumer perception of organic claims for products that aren’t part of the National Organic Program. With that caveat in mind, be sure to mark your calendar for October 20th if that issue is of interest to your clients or customers.



The " you can file a public comment online" link is broken

Thanks, Consumer1234. We fixed it.

One should also acquaint themselves with other nations Organic standards also. There is one for Europe, France and now even China has their own organic standars.

I think the name for Naturally Grown foods is a poor use of the English language. The definition of organic is natural matter or compounds with a carbon base, until later on we adlib to the definitions of organic. It is a commercialized term.
I think Naturally Grown Foods is the proper term.

The USDA has lobbied for confusing laws and regulations regarding the terms "organic" in order to give big business an advantage which seems counter to having them moderatie this discussion.
~Opinion of an educated consumer

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