Feds Reverse Ban on Use of USDA Organic Seal—Let Them Eat Soap

The USDA announced that it would reverse a rule prohibiting the use of the USDA Organic seal on body care, pet food and all other non-food items. Last April the Agency decided that only food items could use the USDA seal. Previous to that, under advisory rulings the agency had allowed organic claims for non-food items. The April decision prompted a lawsuit by Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in conjunction with the Organic Consumer’s Association.

Notably Dr. Bronner’s was a leader in the use of true organic ingredients in body care products. Unlike previous body care manufacturers, which had been making organic claims based solely on the presence of organic hydrosols, which are primarily water, Bronners, along with others since have created products using legitimate organic ingredients.

What is important about this rule change, as have previous efforts working with the USDA on crafting Organic laws, is the willingness of the agency is able to be educated by those in the industry. Not that it has been easy, but so far, so good.


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