The USDA Tweaks Its Definition Of “Organic”
Words like “organic” and even “free-range” are more marketing language than anything else, but now the Department of Agriculture has changed that a bit. A new rule establishes stricter USDA criteria for foods labeled “organic.”
The new rule won’t be completely implemented until March 2018, which gives farming operations time to adjust to the new standards if they want to keep their organic label. Under current standards, the label “organic” doesn’t have much to do with animal welfare. It basically just refers to restrictions on what the animals are fed and when they’re given antibiotics. Some consumers know this; others assume “organic” means animals are treated humanely. The change doesn’t necessarily mean “organic” meat will be healthier, but it makes the label a little less misleading.