The organic farming sector is facing a number of barriers to growth, including labeling confusion and the cost of transitioning from conventional to organic production, according to Megan DeBates, legislative affairs director for the Organic Trade Association. 

Label confusion

Consumers are confused by the proliferation of food label claims like natural, non-GMO, antibiotic free and other terms, DeBates told Iowa farmers on the recent Iowa Farm Bureau National Policy Trip to Washington, D.C. 

She said one survey showed that consumers were rating the term “natural” as better than organic, even though the term natural is...