USDA Organic: Chicken

USDA Organic Label

USDA Organic Is a Top Pick

The organic label has among the strongest standards for environmental sustainability including prohibiting synthetic fertilizers and industrial pesticides. Animal feed must be 100% organically produced and without animal byproducts or daily drugs. GMOs are prohibited (though testing is not required).

Requires Verification/Inspection

FoodPrint Label Criteria

Animal Feed Quality

Produced without industrial pesticides
Produced without synthetic (uncontrolled release) fertilizer or sewage sludge fertilizers
Prohibit animal waste and byproduct
Restricted use of feed supplements*
GMOs prohibited

*Feed supplements are GMO-restricted.

Drug Use

Antibiotics only administered to sick animals or prohibited
Prohibit hormones and other routine drugs to healthy animals

Environmental and Pasture Quality

Pasture management / rotational grazing plan required
Grown without synthetic or sewage sludge fertilizers
Grown without industrial pesticides
Biodiversity required in pasture*
Soil health monitored/measured for improvement over time (soil biome, carbon sequestration, etc)

*Biodiversity required if pasture provided

Animal Welfare and Living Conditions

Breed health requirements
Minimum indoor space requirements
Natural light required
Standards for indoor ammonia levels
Outdoor access required*
Pasture access required
Hygiene and manure management addressed
Physical alterations prohibited (debeaking, etc)
Standards for animal wellbeing in transport including maximum duration times
Welfare standards for slaughtering addressed
Requires perches
Dust bathing opportunities*

*Partial

Worker Welfare

Standards and protections for workers on farm
Standards and protections for workers in processing plants
Fair/living wages ensured
Health care insurance ensured
Food Label Glossary

For explanations of some of these technical terms, like “rotational grazing” or “sewage sludge fertilizers,” please visit our glossary.

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