What are the differences between EU and US organic standards?
When it comes to baby formula US organic, does not equal EU organic
Organic farming techniques and standards have a huge effect on the quality of baby formula. There are many important differences between the organic farming standards established by the European Union (EU) and those established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The list below outlines the key differences between EU and US organic farming standards and what thresholds need to be met to be allowed to be labelled organic.
Definition of Organic
The EU defines organic farming as a holistic system that promotes and enhances the health of soil, plants, animals, humans, and the environment. The USDA defines organic farming as a production system that is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.
In the EU, organic certification is mandatory for all organic producers and processors, and is regulated by national and regional authorities. In the US, organic certification is also mandatory for all organic producers and processors, but is regulated by the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP).
Pesticides and Fertilizers
The EU prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in organic farming, while the USDA allows certain synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to be used under specific conditions.
The EU prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in organic farming and requires GMO testing for all organic products. The USDA allows the use of some genetically modified crops in organic farming, but prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms in organic products.
The EU requires organic livestock to have access to outdoor areas and natural grazing, while the USDA only requires that livestock have access to the outdoors. The EU also prohibits the use of growth hormones in organic livestock, while the USDA only prohibits the use of hormones in organic poultry.
Processing and Ingredients
The EU prohibits the use of synthetic additives, flavorings, and processing aids in organic products, while the USDA allows the use of some synthetic additives, flavorings, and processing aids in organic products under specific conditions. The EU also requires that organic products contain at least 95% organic ingredients, while the USDA requires that organic products contain at least 70% organic ingredients.