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Wednesday, 20 December, 2000, 16:47 GMT
US adopts organic food code

The United States Department of Agriculture has for the first time issued national standards for organic food.

Until now, individual states have used a variety of standards and certifying procedures; some have had no regulation at all of which products are sold as organic.

The new standards are stricter than a previous draft code drawn up three years ago; organic farmers complained that it would have allowed some use of irradiation, biotechnology and sewage sludge in the production of organic foods.

In future, all food sold as organic in the United States must consist of at least ninety-five percent organic ingredients; it will then be allowed to carry an Agriculture Department seal.

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