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NutriClean - Residue Free Certification
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LABEL REPORT CARD
How meaningful is the label? Is the label verified? Is the meaning of the label consistent? Are the label standards publicly available? Is information about the organization publicly available? Is the organization free from conflict of interest? Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?
Somewhat1 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
1. However, for some pesticides on specific products, the Nutriclean detection limits are the same as federal safety limits and therefore does not add value over conventional products in all instances. Therefore, at times the label is not meaningful and can be misleading.
 
LABEL CATEGORY:
Pest Management
 
WHERE YOU'LL FIND THIS LABEL:

 FOOD
  • FRUIT
  • VEGETABLES, LEGUMES AND GRAINS
  •  
     
    WHAT THIS LABEL MEANS:
    Scientific Certification Systems’s (SCS) NutriClean program describes itself as a "free from pesticide residue program." However, the NutriClean label actually means that products are tested for pesticide residues and sets limits of detection for each specific pesticide residues. However, this label does not mean that there were no pesticides used. SCS requires all farmers, packers and distributors to submit a post-harvest "full disclosure form" outlining all of the chemicals that are used throughout the shipping and marketing process. SCS performs on-site inspections, field sampling of products and laboratory analyses, in addition to residue testing. SCS does publish a list of pesticides tested in the program. There is no list of pesticides specifically prohibited for use. Rather, NutriClean states that it follows the guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency for acceptable pesticides.
     
    CONSUMERS UNION EVALUATION:

    How meaningful is the label?
    The Nutriclean label is somewhat meaningful but in some cases can be misleading. The SCS Nutriclean label is clear in signifying that pesticide residues do not exceed the residue limits set by the program for each pesticide. However, this is not equivalent to “free of pesticide residue" since there can still be residue of the pesticide below the limits set by Nutriclean. In addition, some of the pesticide residue limits set by Nutriclean are simply at the legal limit for certain pesticides on certain fruits and vegetables. For example, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the acceptable residue level of certain pesticide residues such as chlorpyrifos to be 0.01ppm on eggs, whole milk, figs and sugarcane. EPA considers any chlorpyrifos levels above 0.01 ppm for these products to be unsafe. The Nutriclean label program sets a standard of .01ppm for chlorpyrifos and therefore in this instance, does not offer increased environmental value over conventional production.

    Does an organization verify that the label standards are met?
    Yes

    Is the meaning of the label consistent?
    Yes, the NutriClean label is consistent in meaning in that pesticide residues limits for each pesticide tested are the same for each product.

    Are the label standards publicy available?
    Yes.

    Is information about the standard organization publicly available?
    Yes

    Is the organization behind the label free from conflict of interest?
    Yes, SCS has an explicit and public policy that no employee may have a vested interest in the products that are certified; thus is independent and without conflict of interest.

    Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?
    No. SCS created the standards and did not circulate widely for input.
     
    PROGRAM NAME:
    SCS - NutriClean - Free of Pesticide Residues Certification Program
     
    ORGANIZATION:
    Scientific Certification Systems, Inc. (SCS)
    www.scscertified.com/
     
    ORGANIZATION SUMMARY:
    HISTORY
    Scientific Certification Services (SCS) is an environmental certification company that began offering certifying services in 1984. SCS offers several certification programs that include NutriClean (for pesticide residue testing), Organic, Environmental Claim Certification for specific product claims, Forest Conservation Program, Marine Certification programs, Recycled, and Biodegradable. SCS has been certifying organic products according to its own standards since 1986. The USDA National Organic Program was implemented October 21, 2002. SCS's organic program must now certify that food products follow USDA's National Organic Program.

    FUNDING
    SCS supports its organic program from certification fees.

    STRUCTURE
    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) accredits all organic certifiers. Changes made to the National Organic Program and its standards are made through the USDA. The SCS board of directors plays a role in making decisions (not including standards) regarding the SCS's organic program. However, the Board does not have final decision making authority. Final decisions are made by the President (and chairman of the Board) of the company, Stanley Rhodes and the director of the specific certification program.
     
    LABEL STANDARDS:
    SCS Standards
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