You see “USDA Organic” labels everywhere. But did you know many of these claims are false? In fact, these false claims ignore federal law and are subject to some hefty fines. The following are notes from a seminar I recently attended on USDA Organic certification.
The key-note speaker was Todd Smith, a Co-Founder of Joy Organics. Joy Organics is a certified USDA Organic CBD provider. Todd oversees the partnership programs, product development and supply chain.
“I am excited today to share with you very briefly some information on our new USDA certified organic products and provide for you some base education and understanding of what makes a product USDA certified organic. Let’s 1st look at what goes into making a USDA Certified organics hemp product.
Mandated Practices Needed for USDA Certification
- The hemp must be grown on an organic certified farm
- The growing practices used by the farmer must be organic certified
- The handling in the storage of the hematuria, also known as the bio-mass, must be an organic certified process
- The extraction process also must be an organic certified extraction process
- The most difficult rule to comply with is the THC remediation process, or the process of removing THC. The entire removal process must also be organic certified.
Using Joy Organics as an example, even though their THC-free hemp products were 98% organic, they could not put the USDA organic badge on the products! Specifically, even though 98% of the ingredients in the carrier oil in the tincture was USDA certified organic, they could not obtain certification until the THC remediation process certified. That is why according to Tom: “We are super proud to be the 1st major brand to offer a USDA certified organic broad spectrum and full spectrum tincture.”
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Non-Compliant Ingredient Registry
It is important to note that to make a product USDA certified organic, 95% of the ingredients in that product must be USDA certified organic. Any remaining ingredients, that are not USDA certified organic, must be on a special list or registry accounting for those ingredients that can not be sourced as organic. Many cannabinoids are not on that list so therein lies the problem. Even though Joy’s 450 mg tincture has always had USDA certified organic ingredients at a level of 98%, because the CBD was not on the “list,” they could not have the USDA certified organic badge on the product.
Understanding Organic Claims
In the CBD industry there are a lot of websites, including top 20 websites, where they say that their CBD is organic or organically grown. Please understand many of those companies are violating the USDA labelling laws. They are knowingly and openly violating those laws by saying something is organic without having the USDA organic symbol on their website, or on the products! You can not say anything is organic that has not gone through the USDA certified organic process. This goes for everything, not just CBD. If it has the green or a black USDA badge than you can say it’s organic.
In other words, if it doesn’t have the badge, you can’t say it’s organic. Even if your following organic growing practices, it doesn’t matter. you can’t say something is organic unless it is USDA certified organic.
What’s in a Name?
Even the name of a product is important. You can’t even have organic or organics on the front panel of any product that you sell unless that product is USDA certified organic. For example, Joy Organics tinctures say Joy Organics on them, but the softshells, due to not meeting all the requirements yet, do not. Instead the softgels are labeled Joy Nutrition. This is closely regulated and the only time you can put organic on the front panel of your product is if that product is USDA certified organic. Even on this website, the only time we can reference something as organic is if it is truly USDA certified organic indicated by a badge.
Attending this seminar was enlightening for me. I had no idea how much had to be complied with in order to claim a product is indeed organic. Next time you go shopping look for the “badge” if a product claims it is USDA certified organic. You might be surprised!
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