Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2013


Rising concern over food safety issues by consumers has resulted in an increased demand for what are perceived to be healthier food options. Labels have become major marketing tools, and instrumental in consumer choices. This study looks at the history and regulations behind three certified labels: USDA Organic, Demeter Certified Biodynamic, and Certified Naturally Grown, as well as the highly prevalent “natural” food claim, in an attempt to discover whether the claims made by their labels are factually sound. With the exception of the “natural” claim, which is neither certified nor regulated by the FDA, USDA or other organizations, it is found that for the most part, all three certified labels represent their products truthfully. Additionally, the differences in growing and processing standards between these three certified labels are very minimal, however their certification processes are quite different.