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Agri-Pulse reports:

A lack of clarity about organic foods is making it more difficult for consumers to trust the industry, a new survey from the Edelman public relations firm has found.

"There is widespread confusion about what it means to be organic," the survey said, adding "trust in organic foods is being held back by a lack of familiarity - producers of raw materials are more trusted than manufacturers."

Only one in three people surveyed know USDA is responsible for enforcing organic standards, Edelman found after conducting interviews with 7,500 consumers in September and October. The survey, commissioned by the Organic Trade Association and released publicly today, spans six markets - the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

So-called "Food Forwards" in the U.S., defined as consumers "who take action regarding news about the food and beverage industry and agreed with certain statements relating to their habits and beliefs," were more familiar and trusting of organics than the general population. Sixty-two percent of Food Forwards were familiar with organics, compared to 31% of the general population, and 79% trust organic products, compared to 55% of the overall population.

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