What Does it Mean to be Labeled Natural or Organic?
There is a lot of confusion brought on by advertisers as to what it means to be “natural” and “organic”. To help clear up some of the confusion, let’s take a look at the standards for a product to be considered either natural or organic.
What does it mean for a product to be natural?
At this time, the standards for calling a product natural are very relaxed. Generally speaking, when a manufacturer says that a product is natural, it means that it comes from some naturally derived ingredient and is manufactured with “green” standards. The product has ingredients that come from nature and are processed without chemical reactions.
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When speaking of food, the FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service) allows meat to be labeled as natural when it is only minimally processed and is free of preservatives, coloring and artificial flavor. Consumers who are trying to avoid harmful toxins should be careful of falling into the trap of believing that products labeled as natural are indeed healthy. Unfortunately, your natural hair products are very likely loaded with all sorts of toxic chemicals.
What does it mean for a product to be organic?
While the standards to be considered organic are more stringent than a natural product, there is a big difference in claiming a product is organic versus stating that it is USDA certified organic. For purposes of this article, we will be looking at what it takes to simply be able to state that a product is organic.
An organic product is carbon based and made of at least 70% organic materials. For produce, organic farming guidelines prevent the use of antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides. Genetic engineering is also prohibited. However, just because a product claims that it is organic, does not mean that it is all organic or that it free from toxic chemicals. There is a big difference between organic shampoo and makeup and certified organic.
Generally speaking, consumers who are serious about organic living should look for products that are USDA certified organic. These are the only products that you can trust the claims of purity.