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USDA proposes strict national standards for organic food

The new rules would provide uniform American standards for the production of organic food, replacing the existing state-to-state rules. Unlike the USDA's 1997 failed proposal, the new standards would also bar the use of genetically engineered crops, irradiation, and industrial sludge as fertilizer. Products containing at least 95% organic ingredients would be allowed to carry a seal that says "USDA certified organic," and foods that are at least 50% organic could be labeled "made with organic ingredients." The new rules are expected to dramatically increase consumer acceptance of organic foods and US export potential. The USDA will take public comment on the proposed rules between March 13 and June 14, 2000. Processors will have 18 months to achieve compliance after the rules are approved.

Boulder Daily Camera, March 8, 2000.

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