The USDA Will No Longer Refer to Small-Sized Raisins as ‘Midgets’

This word has been officially banned from the Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins

Small-sized raisins can no longer be referred to as "midgets."

Did you know that ever since World War II, small-sized raisins have been referred to as “midgets”? Well, that’s about to change.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be banning this term from the Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins in response to a petition by the Little People of America.

The Little People of America first petitioned the USDA in May 2013, asking them to remove the word from use. On August 13, they published a Proposed Rule for the public to review to excise the word “midget” from five passages in the Standards for Grades of Processed Raisins.

The Raisin Administrative Committee was notified of this petition two years ago and agreed to make the change back then.

“We recognize that every use of the term is not meant to be hurtful, but it creates a difficult and hostile environment,” Leah Smith, spokesperson for the Little People of America, told The Washington Post. “It does sound like a small thing, but when people see it in reference to raisins they think it’s also OK to use it in reference to people.”


The USDA apparently also has a grade standard called “midget pickles,” and other companies make “midget pretzels.” The Little People of America are aware of this and hope to see the language changed.