Under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 "processed"
foods can contain at least 50 percent organically produced ingredients by weight and be certified as “organic”. Or, the Secretary of Agriculture is empowered to grant an exemption for less than 50 percent to permit the word “organic” in the ingredient list.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers the National Organic Program (NOP)
. These are the ones who can permit a “USDA Organic” label to be placed on a product.
I think the term “organic” has in many instances become a hot marketing ploy. Apparently, many people, who are trying to be health conscious, can be enticed by the term “organic”. As an example, a processed food may have on the box “made with organic sugar”. Even though the food product itself is not certified as organic, the box can have the word organic if it can be certified that at least half of the sugar was produced from cane or beets without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Consumers can be misled to think that a product is organic when it may not be entirely organic.
Kellogg’s® is a large and powerful food processor. Chances are they have the legal staff necessary to find the loopholes to place "organic" on their Rice Krispies® box.
The processing of food products often removes or destroys ingredients which can be considered healthful. Personally, I have become leery of food products that come in a "box". I have to admit that I still buy a few of these products because I haven’t found better sources. That’s just my two not so shinny pennies worth.