Eco-labels expand claims beyond organic
publication date: Dec 1, 2007
When USDA’s National Organic Program took effect in 2002, many people assumed it would be the answer to consumer confusion about how food was produced: one set of ecological farming standards, one easily identified label - problem solved.
Today, just five years later, consumers are confronted with dozens of new labels making other claims about food: water and wildlife protection, farm worker rights, fair trade, food safety, and humane treatment of livestock, to name a few. Some are just marketing phrases, but many are official programs with their own sets of standards, inspections, and certifications. Even the descriptive phrase “sustainable agriculture” is about to become a certification program.
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