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  European Union (EU) regulations US regulations Best organic practice

1. May synthetic ingredients be added to organic foods during processing?

Yes.

Certain non-agricultural additives, processing aids and non-organic natural ingredients are allowed, but the product must mainly consist of ingredients of agricultural origin.[56]

Yes.

Non-agricultural minor ingredients are approved if not commercially available in organic form.[57]

No.

Organic food should have no synthetic or inorganic additives or ingredients added during processing.

2. Are appropriate rules in place for what the minimum organic content shall be in organic-labelled food?

No.

The terms ‘organic’, ‘bio’ and ‘eco’ require at least 95% of the ingredients of agricultural origin to be organic, but it is not specified how much of the product must be of agricultural origin.[58]

Yes.

Clear definitions are present for terms such as ‘100% organic’ and ‘organic’, referring to products containing respectively 100% organically produced contents and not less than 95% organically produced contents (excluding water and salt). Additionally, if a product contains at least 70% organically produced contents (excluding water and salt), it can be labelled as ‘made with organic’, along with the specified contents.[59]

Yes.

Organic labelling should display clearly whether the goods are fully organic, alongside the US regulations for good organic practice.

3. Is ionisation radiation allowed in food processing?

No.

Organic production forbids the use of ionising radiation.[60]

No.

Organic production forbids the use of ionising radiation.[61]

No.

Organic food should not undergo any radiation treatment.

4. Are engineered nanoparticles allowed to be used in organic food processing?

Yes.

No restrictions in place in the EU to control the use of engineered nanoparticles within organic-approved ingredients. The European Food Safety Authority does not require to list on the product label the nanoparticle content.

Yes.

No restrictions in place in the USA to control the use of engineered nanoparticles within organic-approved ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration does not require to list on the product label the nanoparticle content.

No.

Engineered nanoparticles or nanoparticle content beyond what is found naturally in substances must be banned from organic food processing.

Even when naturally occurring nanoparticle content is present in a substance, safety assessment for that substance shall be first carried out while accounting for and specifically focusing on the nanoparticle presence safety for both humans and the environment, before being approved for organic food processing.

56. Official Journal of the European Union (2007), Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, Articles 6 and 7. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:189:0001:0023:EN:PDF
57. US Government Publishing Office, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, Title 7: Agriculture, Part 205: National Organic Program, §205.301 and 205.605.https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=a5b155ba6da8c49616dcd44de509f65d&mc=true&n=pt7.3.205&r=PART&ty=HTML
58. Official Journal of the European Union (2007), Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, Article 23. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:189:0001:0023:EN:PDF
59. US Government Publishing Office, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, Title 7: Agriculture, Part 205: National Organic Program, §205.301. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=a5b155ba6da8c49616dcd44de509f65d&mc=true&n=pt7.3.205&r=PART&ty=HTML
60. Official Journal of the European Union (2007), Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, Article 10. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:189:0001:0023:EN:PDF
61.  US Government Publishing Office, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, Title 7: Agriculture, Part 205: National Organic Program, §205.104 and 205.301. https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=a5b155ba6da8c49616dcd44de509f65d&mc=true&n=pt7.3.205&r=PART&ty=HTML