How can you tell if food labeled “organic” REALLY IS organic? The US has already lowered its standards for organic foods.

In, Christopher Wanjek writes that scientists in Spain are developing methods to detect food that has been grown with synthetic fertilizers. This is especially important now that they are part of the European Union, which has strict rules on exported food. Their method uses the detection of an isotope of nitrogen that is found only in organic food.

In BBC News, Anna-Marie Lever reports on a “‘barcode’ gene that can be used to distinguish between the majority of plant species.” It can be used to catalogue plant life, since each plant species has a slightly different code, but it cannot be used to identify whether a plant has been grown organically or not.

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