The National Organic Program announced the availability of draft guidance for public input concerning products labeled “made with organic [specified ingredients or food group(s)].”

Processed products that contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients can be labeled “made with organic [specified ingredients or food group(s)].” For example, soup made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients and only organic vegetables may be labeled “soup made with organic vegetables.”

The document addresses the use of non-organic ingredients in “made with organic” products and clarifies the use of percentage statements under the “made with organic” labeling category.

“This guidance is intended to ensure consistency across the organic food industry,” said Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the NOP. “For example, it answers questions about what ingredients may be used within the 30 percent non-organic portion of ‘made with organic’ products.”

The NOP invites organic producers, handlers, certifying agents, consumers and other interested parties to submit comments about the guidance provisions. The draft guidance is available for comment in the Federal Register until March 14, 2011, at www.regulations.gov (filed under document number AMS-NOP-10-0045). Comments can also be submitted to Toni Strother, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-NOP, Room 2646-So., Ag Stop 0268, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-0268. Clearly indicate the provision being addressed, support for or opposition to it, and the reason(s) for your position.

The NOP will consider all comments submitted by March 14, 2011, before issuing the final guidance. Once finalized, the guidance will be available as part of the Program Handbook: Guidance and Instructions for Accredited Certifying Agents (ACAs) and Certified Operations. Current edition of the Program Handbook is available online at http://www.ams.usda.gov/NOPProgramHandbook or in print upon request.