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Jennifer Chait

Canada's Organic Program Under Attack

By November 30, 2012

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Canada's organic certification program has recently come under attack via a report that was released this month from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

According to the report, authenticity of organic food labeling is a key problem of the Canada program, with the report arguing that Canada's organic certification process is open to fraud and abuse because organic designation requires no evidence.

The report further notes that when the Canada Food Inspection Agency did internal spot tests last year they found that nearly 24% of the 178 organic apples they tested contained pesticide residue. Canada has a label requirement in place for organics but mandatory laboratory testing of organic products is not part of the program, which many feel leaves organic integrity entirely up to the producers and their idea of the honor system.

Stephanie Wells, Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor with the Canada Organic Trade Association, notes that the Canadian organic program is a good one, saying, "Organic farmers and processors undergo scrutiny with audits and inspections against Canada's organic standards. The organic standards in Canada are very robust."

Learn about the US-Canada Organic Equivalence Arrangement (US-COEA).

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