Pet owners want nothing but the best for their pets. That is why many of them choose to feed them organic pet food. By law, USDA certified organic pet food must follow exactly the same requirements and standards as those established for organic human foods.
That means these foods must be grown and processed without the use of:
- Toxic and persistent pesticides
- Artificial flavors, colors and preservatives
- Synthetic growth hormones
Plus, certified organic pet food operations are:
- required to maintain detailed records of all production and processing activity to maximize traceability
- regularly inspected by a USDA-accredited agent to ensure that organic standards are being met
Read the National Organic Standards Board’s recommendation on organic pet food http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5074516&acct=nosb). This recommendation has been sent to the National Organic Program for review and rule-making.
Your best bet for getting what you are looking for? Educate yourself!
• Look for certified organic pet food. You may see the USDA Organic seal on these products.
• Know what ingredients you are looking for in organic pet food, and which ones you are looking to avoid.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind as you scan the store shelves for organic pet food:
• The National Organic Program (NOP), which regulates organic foods, lacks the legal authority to regulate “organic” label claims on pet food, except when pet food operations voluntarily choose to meet organic food standards, gain NOP certification, and use the USDA Organic seal. As a result, some organic pet food products are certified to the USDA NOP and follow the same labeling guidelines as organic food for humans.
• Some “organic” pet food products are not certified to any standard.
• Only pet food products that contain at least 95% of organic ingredients can display the USDA organic seal and show the ‘certified organic’ statement. These products also need to disclose the name of the USDA-accredited certifying agent.
• The use of certified organic ingredients does not mean that the product itself is certified organic.