Foods may be labelled “organic” only if at least 95% of their agricultural ingredients meet the necessary standards. In non-organic foods, any ingredients which meet organic standards can be listed as organic. To ensure credibility, the code number of the certifying organisation must be provided.
Organic production outlaws the use of genetically modified organisms and derived products. However, the regulation on genetically modified food and feed lays down a threshold (0.9%) under which a product’s GMO content does not have to be indicated. Products with GMO content below this threshold can be labelled organic.
The EU organic logo and labelling rules
The logo and the labelling rules are an important part of the organic regulations. With this regulatory framework the European Union provides conditions under which the organic sector can progress in the line with production and market developments, thus improving and reinforcing the EU organic farming standards and import and inspection requirements.
The main objective of the European logo is to make organic products easier to be identified by the consumers. Furthermore it gives a visual identity to the organic farming sector and thus contributes to ensure overall coherence and a proper functioning of the internal market in this field.
The labelling rules facilitate controls by authorities and bodies designated or recognised in accordance with Regulations. They also clarify the obligations of economic operators in respect of marking the organic goods they produce. The common organic symbol is protected from being used on non-organic products throughout the EU. This enhances fair competition in the market, and of course, consumer protection.
The use of the logo and correct labelling is obligatory for all organic pre-packaged food produced within the European Union. In certain cases, it is also possible to use it on a voluntary basis. This means that non pre-packaged organic food produced within the EU or organic products imported from third countries might display the new logo. Next to the new EU organic logo, consumers are informed about the place where the agricultural raw material used in this product have been farmed and a code number of the control authorities is also displayed.
USDA Organic Labeling Regulations
USDA organic products have strict production and labeling requirements. Organic products must meet the following requirements:
- Produced without excluded methods, (e.g., genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge). Policy on genetically modified organisms (pdf)
- Produced using allowed substances. View the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).
- Overseen by a USDA National Organic Program-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations.
Serbian organic logo and labelling rules
According to the Serbian Law on organic production, certified organic products are labelled with the mark “Organic product” (National organic logo), the code of authorized controlling organization and the national logo. Only products containing at least 95% of ingredients of agricultural origin deriving from organic production can be labelled this way.
National organic logo: