What Does “Organic” Really Mean?

by Melissa Chichester

Do you know what organic really means? Many vitamin, mineral, and other wellness supplements use the word “organic” in their descriptions and marketing. So what makes a product or supplement actually organic?

What Does USDA Certified Organic Mean?

A big clue to whether or not something is organic is the USDA certified claim. USDA stands for the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA certified organic foods are grown and processed according to strict federal guidelines. A product must adhere to federal standards to earn the seal. For organic crops, the USDA seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used. It also verifies that the product has 95% or more certified organic content. Organic producers rely on mostly natural substances and biologically based farming methods to the fullest extent possible.

What About GMOs?

A common question about organic products is, “Do organic products contain GMOs?” GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism.”

When a product contains GMOs, that means genetic engineering has been used to change the genetic makeup of the plant or animal.

This scientific process is used to give plants desired traits, such as better hardiness or faster growth. In the United States, GMOs may be found in alfalfa, apples, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash, and sugar beets.

According to the USDA, GMOs are prohibited in USDA certified organic products. It is important to note, however, that just because a product is organic, does not mean it is gluten-free and if you have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac, it is always recommended to check for a “gluten-free” claim before consumption. There are also Certified Gluten-free products which will contain a seal from the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Puritan’s Pride is proud to offer a selection of USDA certified organic products, including Puritan’s Pride Organic supplements. We are rigorous when it comes to purity and ensuring we are meeting federal standards. Our high-quality ingredients are sourced from the best places around the world.