17 Food Certification Labels Decoded: Nos. 9-17

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Dolphin safe label

U.S. Department of Commerce Dolphin Safe

What it means: While not third-party verified, this label means a product was caught without harming dolphins.

See it on: Tuna

Rainforest Alliance Certified

Rainforest Alliance Certified label

What it means: A product is guaranteed by a third party to meet high standards for wildlife conservation, worker welfare and benefits to local communities. While farmers can use pesticides, the amount and type is strictly controlled and must continually be reduced.

See it on: Coffee, tea and chocolate

Fair Trade Certified label

Fair Trade Certified

What it means: Farmers enjoy safe working conditions, living wages, fair prices for crops and they invest in business and community building projects. Plus, pesticides and GMOs are strictly prohibited.

See it on: Coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit, wine, sugar, rice and vanilla

Nutriclean Certified Organic

Nutriclean Certified Organic

What it means: Nutriclean verifies produce with this label is up to par with USDA organic standards.

See it on: Produce

Bird Friendly label

Bird Friendly

What it means: Developed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and verified by a third-party tester, this seal ensures that coffee beans are 100 percent organic and shade-grown under a rain forest canopy — an important sanctuary for migratory birds.

See it on: Coffee

Fair Trade Federation Label

Fair Trade Federation

What it means: Product is made by a rigorously screened member of the Fair Trade Federation, a company that is fully committed to fair trade principles including safe working conditions, children’s rights, fair wages, cultivating environmental stewardship and respecting cultural identity.

See it on: Coffee, tea, chocolate, wine, poultry, eggs, dairy, meat and more

Free range label

Free Range

What it means: If you see this term on eggs or beef, it has little meaning. The USDA only defines the claim in relation to chicken, and even then, outdoor access can be limited to just five minutes a day.

See it on: Poultry, meat, eggs

No Antibiotics label

No Antibiotics Added

What it means: A USDA-regulated term that can be used if documentation can prove animals were raised without antibiotics.

See it on: Meat, poultry

No Hormones label

No Hormones Administered

What it means: A USDA-regulated term approved for beef products with documentation that no hormones were used during the cow’s life.

See it on: Beef

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