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Protecting Organic Integrity

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Protecting organic integrity from the farm to your table is a top priority for organic producers and processors. That’s why at every phase in the production process, they take steps to make sure that you and your family are getting all the benefits you need and want and none of the things you don’t.

On the farm:
-The land on which organic food and fiber is grown must not be planted or treated with prohibited substances (including GMOs) for three years before products grown on that land can be sold as organic
-Create buffer zones to prevent contact between organic and non-organic crops
-Carefully time planting to minimize risks of cross-pollination
-Use organic seeds
-Use cultural and ecological methods of pest and weed control before using biological, botanical, or synthetic materials
-Do not use pressure-treated wood (with arsenate)
-Manage livestock health without resorting to antibiotics, and livestock feed without plastic pellets, arsenic, urea or manure

At the processing facility:
-Clean machinery to prevent contact between organic and non-organic items and minimize the risk of contamination
-Store organic and non-organic ingredients separately
-Use only allowed or governmentally mandated pest controls, which are strictly limited
-Do not use packaging with embedded preservatives

In transport:
-Thoroughly clean space used to transport organic products to minimize the risk of contamination from contact with non-organic products

In retail outlets:
-Separate organic and non-organic produce to avoid cross-contamination
-Store organic and non-organic bulk items separately

In addition to these steps, all organic producers and processors are required to produce a detailed organic systems plan and undergo announced- and unannounced- inspections by independent, third-party inspectors.