01st Aug 2009
An USDA-accredited organic certification agency (i.e., the independent third-party) verifies the following claims (none of these claims can be verified for non-certified organic pet food products):
1. Organic status of ingredients
2. Sourcing of ingredients (e.g., countries of origin, human-grade vs. feed-grade quality)
3. Qualities of ingredients (e.g., antibiotic-free, hormone-free, GMO-free)
4. Omission of toxic synthetics during growing and handling of ingredients (e.g., no use of synthetic pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones)
5. Omission of toxic synthetics during the manufacture and storage of pet food product (e.g., sanitizers, pesticides)
6. Processing details (e.g., what temperatures are used during dehydration)
The organic certifier has access to all of the records of the manufacturing facility and of every single production batch. These records have to be available for re-inspection if necessary for 5 years.
Nobody can guarantee any of the claims listed above for non-certified organic pet food products, because records do not have to be disclosed to anybody who is not associated with the pet food company.
You may see that organic certification of pet food products substantiates a manufacturer’s claims by demanding full disclosure of all records. Organic certification agencies also inspect a certified organic pet food manufacturer’s marketing materials and product packaging information to ensure that the manufacturer’s product descriptions are truthful.
From my experience as a certified organic pet food manufacturer who routinely compares pet food products and claims, I can attest to the fact that organic certification provides the tightest regulatory oversight in the pet food industry. I am sure every manufacturer of certified organic pet food products will agree with me.