The USDA may relax standards for organic foods, and allow 38 different spices, colorings and other nonorganic ingredients to be included in foods labeled organic, according to the LA Times. Organic food advocates are seeking to stop this action, calling it a blow to the organic movement and claiming that it caters to moneyed food producers who want the benefits of the organic label without any of the work involved.
Food has to be grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides in order to be considered organic, and animals raised without antibiotics and growth hormones. Many non-organic ingredients are already used in organic foods, however. In 2005, a federal judge who disgreed with the USDA's loose interpretation of the Organic Foods Protection Act gave the USDA two years to revise its rules; this new list is part of its response. Sales of organic foods have more than doubled in the past six years, and more big companies are seeing the potentially huge profits to be made in the organic market.
How strict do you think the rules should be for ingredients in foods labeled organic?
And here's a list of the proposed non-organic ingredients.