Which products are organic?
We are sometimes asked why more of USANA’s raw ingredients aren’t “certified” organic. In our view, the primary benefit of using individual ingredients or raw materials that are “certified” organic is a marketing one. Certified organic ingredients can be very difficult to obtain (if available at all) and are typically much more expensive.
Also, just because an ingredient or raw material is certified organic does not guarantee it is of high quality. In our experience, the consistency and quality of many organic materials has been questionable and not up to our rigorous quality control standards. Generally, though, the main reason for not using organic ingredients more in our product line is that at present there is not often a clear advantage to the consumer. Many people who use organically farmed products do so because they believe they are either more safe or more nutritious, which may not be universally true for all organic products and ingredients. Additionally, when it comes to nutritional supplements like USANA’s, “more nutritious” is not a relevant reason because each raw ingredient is measured and standardized for content. (To use a hypothetical example, imagine that an organically grown orange contains 85 mg of vitamin C, while a traditionally grown one only has 50 mg. In a dietary supplement, 85 mg extracted from organic sources provides no more vitamin C than 85 mg extracted from traditional sources – it is 85 mg of vitamin C, regardless.)
Another issue some bring up is safety. Again, since the majority of dietary supplement ingredients are extracted, processed, and purified, this is not a relevant issue for USANA’s nutritionals. Extracts and ingredients where there may be some legitimate concern about contamination (fish oil, for example) are thoroughly tested in the same way and to the same degree it would be necessary to test organic alternatives. USANA conducts many tests (including HPLC, ICP, FTIR and GC) on both raw materials and finished products to ensure purity and safety. Proper testing and screening procedures are also followed to assure that raw materials are free of unintentional compounds (including pesticides, heavy metals, organic contaminants, manufacturing contaminants, and more).
There may be advantages to eating organic produce and food – especially if it results in a higher intake of fruits and vegetables – but organically sourced ingredients are not generally relevant for many of the products produced by USANA.