The word organic seems simple enough but can be confusing for consumers. Here is an inside look at the standards and laws governing this important group of products, particularly tea.
What exactly determines if a product is grown organically?
In 1990, Congress passed the Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) requiring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop national organic standards. The National Organic Program (NOP) and OFPA developed regulations requiring products labeled organic originate from farms, or handling facilities, that are certified by either State or private agencies that have been accredited by the USDA.
The regulations further state that farms, or handling facilities may not use any of the following in production or handling;
Organic crops must be grown without the use of;
Most conventional pesticides
Petroleum based fertilizers
Sewage sludge-based fertilizers
How are imported organic products regulated?
The USDA is required by OFPA to review the certification programs under which imported organic products are...