Most products sold in stores today are covered in different labels and symbols, each with their own meaning. It can be hard to keep track of what each symbol means, but if you want to ensure the products you’re buying adhere to your standards, it’s important to be able to identify the ones most important to you.
The USDA is the regulating body for the US that determines when a product can be certified organic. Right now, in order to be classified as organic, an organization must prove that their operation is protecting natural resources, conserving biodiversity, and using approved substances in production.
In order for a product to be considered biodegradable, it must be able to be broken down completely by nature, or disappear altogether. Items that are labeled compostable are also required to break down naturally, but must also be able to be composted at home or at a facility.
When you see a product labeled as Fairtrade, the company or organization aims to promote better conditions and prosperous futures for workers in developing countries. Oftentimes, proceeds from these products go toward eliminating poverty in the nations it was produced.
You might find a leaping bunny symbol on cosmetic products, and in order to earn this label a company must pledge to eliminate animal testing from all areas of product development. The ingredients suppliers must also adhere to these standards, and therefore products with this label are 100 percent free of animal testing.
Nowadays it can be challenging to find a product that is completely GMO-free, but this label guarantees that a company or organization followed extreme caution in ensuring complete GMO avoidance, including testing for all individual ingredients within the product.