The NOP has not engaged in rulemaking to establish specific organic pet food standards, and the NOSB has not drafted any recommendations concerning the topic. Because of this, certification of pet food is optional. However, if the word "organic" is used anywhere on a pet food label, the organic ingredient(s) must have been produced by certified operations, following all of the applicable requirements summarized above."
I wish that it were true - namely, that every 'organic' claim in the pet food industry were certified! It isn't so.
Organic certification of pet foods currenlty follows exactly the same National Organic Product standards as human foods. Same inspections, same record checks, same additives allowed (although that point will soon change thanks to pet food manufacturers that want to add more synthetics to our pet's foods),....
Certified organic pet foods are the ONLY pet foods where the word 'organic' means something because the claims on certified organic pet food packages are verified by a USDA-accredited organic certifier.
All organic claims on non-certified organic pet foods need not and are not verified by anybody but the manufacturer. For non-certified organic pet foods, nobody cares if a pet food manufacturer uses or doesn't use the organic ingredients they say they use.
Every pet food that is certified organic has to have the name of the organic certifier (e.g., QAI) on the package, otherwise organic claims are not verified.
Certified organic pet foods can be:
100% organic (USDA organic seal)
Certified organic (at least 95% of ingredients are organic, USDA organic seal)
Made with such and such organic ingredient (at least 70% must be organic; NO USDA organic seal)
All three categories of certified organic pet foods MUST disclose the name of the organic certifier.
We once tried to find out from QAI and the FDA and USDA if one company uses the organic ingredients they say they use in one of their non-certified organic products. The officials came back to us and said more or less: "The use of the term "organic" in pet foods is not regulated, if the pet food isn't certified organic by a USDA-approved certifier. Only 'certified organic' pet food claims are regulated at this time".