Organics

Organic food is a non-GM choice. All certified organic food grown in Canada is produced in accordance with the Canada Organic Standard. Organic farming prohibits the use of GM seeds and synthetic pesticides and organic farmers make a commitment to many ecological and animal welfare practices.

Organic food reduces our exposure to GMOs and pesticides, is healthy for soil, plants and animals, and reduces our carbon footprint.

Organic food in Canada is produced according to a national standard, and each organic farm is certified by third party inspectors.Canada Organic logo

Canada Organic Standard

  • No genetically modified seeds or products
  • No synthetic pesticides
  • No irradiation
  • Animal welfare practices
  • Soil building practices

The Principles of Organic Farming

The Canada Organic Standard sets out seven general principles:

  1. Protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, decrease pollution, optimize biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.
  2. Maintain long-term soil fertility by optimizing conditions for biological activity within the soil.
  3. Maintain biological diversity within the system.
  4. Recycle materials and resources to the greatest extent possible within the enterprise.
  5. Provide attentive care that promotes the health and meets the behavioural needs of livestock.
  6. Prepare organic products, emphasizing careful processing, and handling methods in order to maintain the organic integrity and vital qualities of the products at all stages of production
  7. Rely on renewable resources in locally organized agricultural systems.

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) operates around four principles of organic agriculture:

 

  1. Principle of Health: Healthy soil, plants, animals, humans = healthy planet.
  2. Principle of Ecology: Emulating and sustaining natural systems.
  3. Principle of Fairness: Equity, respect and justice for all living things.
  4. Principle of Care: For the generations to come.

Updates

January 2017: IFOAM – Organics International  adopted a global position which reaffirms that GMOs created through new genetic engineering techniques have no place in organic food and farming systems. In the policy, the organic sector re-affirms its commitment to consumers to effectively exclude GMOs from its production systems and urges policy-makers to regulate the use of GMOs obtained by recent techniques.
The position also further articulates the
  • “Products obtained through genetic engineering processes should not be released into the environment. In any case such releases should not take place without a prior rigorous, multistakeholder designed and agreed risk assessment protocol that includes input from the organic sector and like-minded movements, and an assessment of the possibility to prevent the presence of such products in organic products and GMO-free products”
  • “No patents should be granted on genetic resources, which should remain freely exchangeable and available to breeders and farmers.”

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