After many months of bickering the European Union has finally hammered down its labeling system for organic food.

Farmers who sell produce containing at least 95% organic ingredients will use a special EU logo, along with a label to indicate the product's origin. Below that, there will be labeling of the organic ingredients present.

"This is an excellent agreement which will help consumers to recognize organic products throughout the EU more easily and give them assurances of precisely what they are buying," EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said. The labels can be accompanied by national and private logos, at the discretion of individual EU countries. Mass catering operations are excluded from the new rules although countries can choose to apply national rules if they wish. Now, EU organic farmers have difficulty selling organic food in different EU countries, as there is a patchwork of national and private logos that can be costly and complicated to obtain. At present, the EU has two labeling a "gold standard" where organic ingredients comprise at least 95% of the final product, and "emphasized labeling" where there is at least 70% organic material.

From the June 18, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash