Organic Sector Responds to the National Post
To: The National Post
Re: “Canada’s organic food certification system ‘little more than an extortion racket,’ report says”, published November 24, 2012
This article covers a report that is an untruthful and indefensible indictment of Canada’s organic farmers and businesses, who take great pride in providing consumers with a complete seed-to-fork system premised on integrity, traceability and transparency.
On behalf of Canada’s 3900 organic growers and 1200 processors, we the undersigned, voice our unwavering support for the Canadian Organic Products Regulations in providing the public with the most scrutinized and inspected food production system available.
Canada’s organic food system must meet all food safety and regulatory requirements, including random testing for chemical residue. Testing is, and always has been, one of the many enforcement and inspection mechanisms available during surprise spot-checks or when an inspector determines that testing is merited. Organic farmers and processors undergo mandatory annual third-party audits and site inspections.
The authors of the Frontier Centre report are well-established opponents of organics, vocal in their support of GMOs, who have produced a heavily biased document. We are shocked by the media attention this has received, which is obviously intended to generate controversy, where none exists.
Organic products have been proven through numerous peer-reviewed studies to contain significantly less pesticides and pesticide residues, in an environment already contaminated from years of toxic pollution. Organic farmers and businesses are working hard to reverse this trend and to create an alternative system to conventional agriculture. GMOs, artificial preservatives and colouring are not allowed in organic production
Canadian scientists studying organic agriculture seek alternatives to the use of toxic, persistent chemicals and crowding livestock through innovation and a better understanding of how our ecosystems work. From soils to food processing, the science of organic agriculture has clearly shown significant, measureable environmental benefits. The testing of pesticide residues does nothing to assure the end consumer about the holistic management of the farm, such as the source of seeds, humane conditions of livestock, and overall land stewardship.
For the real story, you are encouraged to contact any of the following organizations.
Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN)
Atlantic Certified Organic Cooperative
BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture
Canada Organic Trade Association
Canadian Health Food Association
Canadian Organic Growers
Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia
Close to Home Organics
Fraser Valley Organic Producers Association
Growers of Organic Food Yukon
International Certification Services, Inc.
International Organic Inspectors Association
Nature's Bounty Farm
Nature’s Path Foods
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Organic Advocacy & Consultation
Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada
Organic Council of Ontario
Organic Federation of Canada
Pacific Agricultural Certification Society
PEI Certified Organic Producers Co-op
Saskatchewan Organic Directorate
Similkameen Okanagan Organic Producers Association
Whole Foods Market