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Rodrigo Louvat
I am a Marketing Associate at Tera in charge of digital marketing and content creation, writing blog articles and newsletters. Drop me a line at if you feel like it!

Understanding Food Labels: The Differences Between USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified

USDA Organic Certification and Non GMO certification

USDA Organic Certification – Beyond GMO Avoidance

The USDA Organic certification, regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), guarantees that food products meet stringent organic standards. While organic certification prohibits GMOs, it encompasses much more. Organic farmers follow approved methods, abstaining from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds. Animals raised for organic meat or dairy must consume organic feed and enjoy access to outdoor spaces.

The USDA Organic seal signifies a holistic approach to food production, focusing on ecological balance, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable practices. Organic farmers and processors undergo rigorous inspections by third-party organic inspectors to ensure compliance with these regulations. By choosing USDA Organic products, you support a healthier food system for yourself and the environment.

USDA Organic Certification logo

Non-GMO Verified – Navigating GMO-Free Options

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization offering independent verification and labeling for non-GMO products. While the Non-GMO Verified seal indicates the absence of GMO ingredients, it does not address other aspects of production methods, such as pesticide use or sustainable practices. The Non-GMO Project’s verification process involves testing ingredients at different stages and conducting yearly inspections for ongoing compliance.

It’s important to note that the Non-GMO Verified seal focuses solely on GMO avoidance and does not encompass the broader organic standards. Choosing Non-GMO Verified products is a step towards avoiding genetically modified ingredients in your food, particularly in processed and packaged goods.

Non GMO certification

Key Differences Between USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified

  1. Standards: USDA Organic certification encompasses comprehensive organic production practices, including GMO avoidance, synthetic chemical prohibition, and animal welfare considerations. Non-GMO Verified focuses solely on GMO avoidance.
  2. Certification Process: USDA Organic certification involves strict on-site inspections and adherence to USDA regulations, ensuring compliance with organic standards. Non-GMO Verification includes testing ingredients and conducting yearly inspections to verify GMO absence.
  3. Scope: USDA Organic certification covers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, grains, meats, and processed foods. Non-GMO Verified focuses mainly on processed and packaged goods.
Organic Non GMO cheat sheet infographic

Making Informed Choices

Both USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified labels provide valuable information to consumers. USDA Organic certification ensures adherence to comprehensive organic standards, promoting a healthier food system and supporting sustainable practices. Non-GMO Verified labels help you identify products free from genetically modified ingredients.

When considering fresh produce, USDA Organic certification remains the only assurance against GMOs. However, for processed and packaged goods, the Non-GMO Verified seal can guide your choices.

Organic vs Non-GMO infographic

At Tera, our commitment to empowering conscious consumers is unwavering. Our app provides enhanced ingredient analysis and real-time monitoring to help you navigate the organic landscape and make informed decisions aligned with your values.

Remember, every purchase you make is an opportunity to support a healthier future for ourselves and our planet.

Wishing you mindful and purposeful shopping experiences!

Help us empower people to make a positive impact by joining our movement and using our conscious shopping app. Build a community and demand change by subscribing and sharing. Together we can revolutionize everyday shopping and create a brighter future.

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