Go to the Head of the Organic Class: Middle School!

By Kristie Turck •  Published 04/25/11 •  4 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:27 am

Welcome Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama U. Students! Here at SafeMama.com you will learn about Certified Made With Organic Ingredients.  By doing so you can enter to win a prize that includes Certified Made With Organic Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash, Happy Mama Hand to Toe Wash, Calm & Clean Hand to Toe Wash and Natural Non-Scents Hand to Toe Wash!

So many products, so many labels! The label says “natural,” but does that mean safe? What’s really organic? What’s a toxic ingredient? You almost need a degree to decipher label claims!

That’s why Earth Mama Angel Baby® is giving you the chance to go to the head of the organic class, win prizes and learn about the five levels of Organic and Natural. You’ll get product label information a concerned consumer can really use, plus earn your Mama U. diploma and a chance to win fantastic prizes all along the way, including a ginormous Grand Prize worth over $650! Earth Mama Angel Baby and five respected bloggers will take you from grade to grade: once you pass one level, you can move on to the next. You can do all five in a day or take your time and do it in a week. Just make sure you go to Mama U. Graduation by midnight Sunday, May 1 to pick up your diploma, your special graduate coupon code, and enter to win the Mama U. Graduates Grand Prize bundle of natural and organic goodies, valued at over $650!!

Welcome to Middle School!

We’ve covered “100% Organic” and “Organic”, now let’s go to another confusing label claim: “Made With Organic Ingredients”. The words “Made With Organic” represent a labeling category that can be certified under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). “Made With Organic” means that 70% or more of the ingredients are certified organic, AND the entire product is produced in a NOP-certified facility. An independent third-party certifier verifies the entire product.

The claim “Made with organic” is very commonly seen on personal care product labels. Surely if the ingredient panel says “Made with Organic Lavender” you can trust that that lavender is organic? Sorry, nope. And because the USDA symbol is not allowed on the “Made With” label, it’s very difficult to tell when something is actually certified.

So, how CAN you tell if a product that has the words “Made With Organic” is certified? This is a toughie to decipher. The USDA symbol is not allowed on the front or informational panel of the product. The company logo may not include the word “Organic”, even though it is certified. The front label claim can only say, “Made With Organic” whatever the ingredient is. IT’S CONFUSING! But at least 70% of the ingredients must be certified organic, and the remaining ingredients must be on the NOP “allowed” National List.  That means no Genetically Modified Organisms, artificial dyes, fragrances or other potentially harmful synthetic ingredients. (see fig. 1)

fig. 1

Earth Mama’s organic certifier is QAI (Quality Assurance International). They agree it’s challenging to properly market “Made With Organic” products and still follow the labeling guidelines.

“If you see the ‘Made With Organic’ claim, turn the product over and you’ll see a ‘certified by’ statement from an accredited certifying agent such as QAI. That would show that the product is certified by an independent third party. No USDA seal is allowed for ‘Made With’.”

Some certifiers allow significantly lower standards, for example requiring only that 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. If you’re stumped you can always do a little research to find what standard the independent certifier certifies to! Here’s a link to a list of companies that certify to the strict NOP standard.

Middle School Exam (see Crib Notes here)

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