When you choose KRAV-labelled food you are also doing yourself a favour.
KRAV-labelled raw materials such as fruit and vegetables contain fewer chemical pesticide residues (even though they are not sprayed with the same chemicals as conventionally grown crops, unfortunately there are chemicals in circulation in the soil, air and water that can end up in organically grown food in small amounts).
KRAV-labelled ready-made foods contains fewer additives than those that are conventionally produced. About 300 food additives are approved by Swedish law, but KRAV has approved only about 50. KRAV does not allow artificial colouring or flavouring or sweeteners. Nitrite in processed meat products is not allowed as it can have adverse health effects.
KRAV-certified production is oriented towards diversity, because that’s the way nature is. Biodiversity – many plant and animal species – is a natural state that keeps ecosystems in balance, and makes nature more resilient, for example to climate change.
50 percent more species
Organic farms have on average 50 percent more species of plants and pollinators than conventional farms. In other words, there is more life on KRAV-certified farms. There are more species of flowers and plants, and more species of bumble bees, bees and other pollinating insects that are attracted to flowers.
There are several reasons for this. Variation of crop rotation on KRAV-certified farms contributes to increased biodiversity, and KRAV-certified cows contribute by grazing on a lot of grass and clover, thus creating an open landscape where more species can be established.
Another contributing factor to great biodiversity is that KRAV-certified farms do not use artificial chemical pesticides against weeds and insect pests amongst other things. When artificial chemical pesticides are used, beneficial insects disappear along with the insect pests.
Some artificial chemical pesticides are endocrine disruptors. Many are harmful to aquatic organisms. They spread from fields into the waterways in the agricultural landscape, and pesticide residues have even been found in drinking water sources. Therefore, both in terms of the environment and human health, KRAV-labelled food, which is produced without artificial chemical pesticides, should be chosen.
KRAV does not allow GMO
Another concern connected to the development and survival of species is genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The genetic composition of a GMO has been altered in a way that cannot occur naturally. In Sweden, it is prohibited to release GMOs that can threaten human health or threaten or deplete biodiversity. Experiments with GMOs are conducted under controlled conditions, and permits are required for cultivating and importing live GMOs and for using them as feed or food. However, permits are not required to import products such as oil from genetically modified rapeseed, for example. If a genetically modified food is approved in an EU country, according to the regulations, it can be sold throughout the EU.
As there is uncertainty about what can happen if foreign genes spread in nature and harm other organisms, KRAV does not allow the use of GMOs. KRAV does not want to allow substances or materials that may pose risks to the environment or human health. This also applies to imported products. No imported KRAV-approved products should contain GMOs or be manufactured using GMOs.
Materials made of nanoparticles is forbidden
For precautionary purposes, KRAV also does not allow materials made of nanoparticles, very small particles that are found in food supplements and nutritional drinks, for example. The purpose of the nanoparticles is that they may be more easily absorbed in the body. They are also used in packaging.
Knowledge about how nanomaterials behave in the environment or how they affect the human body is inadequate. In the new EU regulation for organic production, which will come into force in 2021, nanomaterials are prohibited.
Avoid packaging with substances that are harmul
KRAV also has environmental requirements for packaging. When KRAV-certified operations choose packaging, they should avoid packaging that contain substances that are harmful to health and the environment. The substance Bisphenol A is therefore prohibited in packaging containing KRAV-labelled products. PVC plastic is only allowed in lid seals and liners on metal. There are no equivalent standards in the EU regulations for organic production. From 2020, the same standards apply to packaging of imported KRAV-labelled products.
KRAV-certified companies have to meet rigorous requirements for protecting the environment. According to the KRAV Standards, it is obligatory to carry out systematic work to protect the environment and to show care for the natural and cultural environment. Certification companies check to ensure that this is done when they audit KRAV-certified companies for compliance with the KRAV Standards. KRAV-labelled products are a safe choice.