Organic Definitions and Regulations Produce


The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) has developed two Canadian National Organic standards. These two standards are titled:

“CAN/CGSB 32.310-2006, Organic Production Systems, General Principles and Management Standards” full text here

and “CAN/CGSB 32.311-2006 Organic Production Systems Permitted Substances Lists” full text here

A good definition of organic food growing practices, and organic food can be taken from these standards:
This standards lists 7 general principals of organic production:
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 standards specifically prohibit use of the following:
a) Materials and products from genetic engineering
b) Use of synthetic pesticides
c) Fertilizers containing a prohibited substance
d) Sewage sludge
e) Synthetic growth regulators
f) Synthetic allopathic veterinary drugs including antibiotics and parsiticides, except as specified
g) Synthetic processing substances, aids and ingredients, and food additives and processing aids including sulphates, nitrates and nitrites except as specified
h) Ionizing radiation and forms of irradiation on products destined for food or their inputs
i) Equipment, packaging materials and storage containers, or bins that contain a synthetic fungicide, preservative of fumigant
j) Substances not included in CAN/CGSB-32.311, Organic Production Systems-Permitted Substances Lists, except as provided in the standard
k) Cloned farm animals and their descendants
l) Intentionally manufactured nano-technology products

The standard also states that prohibited substances must not be used on crop land for 3 years before the first harvest of organic crops


The Canadian government has produced Organic Food regulations titled: “Organic Products Regulations, 2009”. full text here

These regulations apply to products imported into Canada and products sold between provinces. Some highlights from these regulations are:
For a product to be certified organic, a certification body must determine that the product and the way it was produced comply with the CGSB standards.

A multi-ingredient product must have at 70% of its contents organic.
But a multi-ingredient product must have at least 95% of its contents organic in order to use the Canadian “Agricultural Product Legend” (the Canada Organic Logo which is shown below).

In order to use the term “organic” on a label:
The certification body must be on the label.
For a multi-ingredient product, the organic contents must be identified in the ingredient list.
For imported products using the agricultural product legend, the term “imported” or “Product of “ must be on the label.

A product imported into Canada can be sold as organic if it is certified by a certification body which is recognized by a country that has an arrangement with the Canadian food inspection Agency.

Agricultural Product Legend