Easy to claim crops are organic in Canada

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The Canada-Switzerland Organic Equivalency Arrangement will allow for free trade in certified organic products between Canada and Switzerland. But there’s a problem. Swiss authorities require field testing; Canadian authorities do not, according to Mischa Popoff, author about organic production and policy advisor for The Heartland Institute as well as research associate for The Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

The Swiss organic standard stipulates quite clearly that “In case of doubt, the necessary analyses must be carried out.” The Canadian standard meanwhile does not require any testing (analyses), and instead relies completely on the word of the farmer or processor as detailed in the farmer or processor’s own paperwork, Popoff explains.

“So while the Swiss standard for organic production takes objective, scientific steps to prevent fraud and gross negligence, the Canadian standard invites fraud and gross negligence, and does so the world over,” Popoff complains.

Popoff cannot understand exactly how Canadian authorities ever managed to convince Swiss authorities to enter into an organic equivalency agreement between the two countries, and he wonders if Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has the answer.

“What’s more, as Patrick Moore, Ph.D., and I describe in our full report on the Canadian organic industry, farmers and processors throughout the world are currently being certified under Canada’s organic standard, and in fact provide the lion’s share of the product being certified as ‘Canadian,’” Popoff said.

Canada has similar equivalency agreements with other countries in Europe, and the United States. Like the Swiss standard, European Union and U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for organic production clearly describe how and when testing must take place in order for product to be considered organic.

He asks, “Without so much as a mention of testing in the Canadian standard, how do these equivalency agreements hold up?”

Popoff ends by noting, “The irony is that any farmer or processor anywhere in the world can become certified under Canada’s lax organic standards, which means that a Swiss, EU or American farmer or processor can now actually apply under Canada’s standard, and as long as he maintains his paperwork, can gain access to his own (national) market as readily as any other organic farmer or processor in his country who adheres to that country’s much more stringent, scientific standard.”

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Related Articles

Comments (2) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

January, 07, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Practically every statement in this article is either demonstrably false or intentionally misleading with regard to Canada's organic certification system. The author should have fact-checked the article, or at least tried to verify the information and balance the piece by contacting people familiar with the topic. What's happened to the standards of professional journalism?

Rob Wallbridge    
January, 07, 2013 at 01:55 PM

To quote directly from the Canada Organic Office Operating Manual (CB means "certification body" - the organization that inspects and certifies the farmer/producer/processor): "C.2.3.16 The CB shall require pre-harvest or post-harvest testing of any agricultural input used or agricultural product to be sold, labelled or represented as being in compliance with the requirements of the Canadian Organic standards when there is a reason to suspect that the agricultural input or product has come into contact with a prohibited substance, method or ingredient in the production and handling of organic products." And "C.2.3.18 The CB shall require sampling and testing, in an event of a complaint concerning the use of or contamination with prohibited substance, as part of the investigation of the complaint." I leave it to you to judge the accuracy of Mr. Popoff's claims.

1325 Bushel Grain Cart

Equipped with a 22” computer balanced auger with 5/16” flighting,the unloading speed is 50% faster than smaller grain carts with ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form