Friday, January 10, 2014

Organic movement under attack

The CBC is reporting findings that undermine the organic movement across Canada.

For several days the public broadcaster has been reporting information about pesticide residues found on organic produce.

Today it reports that up to eight per cent of some vegetables marketed as organic probably came from fields were pesticides were applied. In other words, the producer cheated.

The revelations have far more to do with trust than health risks, although both are at issue because in some cases, the pesticide residues exceeded Canada’s official limits.

The organic movement has positioned itself as the holier-than-thou farmers, the ones who are more concerned about the environment and public health than personal profit.

The movement stands exposed as harbouring frauds and cheats who deliberately break the rules.

And I accuse the movement because it is self-policing through various organizations that each has its own standards and enforcement protocols.

So far the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has, as far as I can determine, done little or nothing to check the integrity of these self-policing organic producer organizations.

In fact, today the CBC is reporting that enforcement is far more vigorous in the United States than in Canada.

But, then again, that seems to be the situation across the board with issues that fall under the purview of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

From Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow’s disease) to XL Foods meat inspection to pesticide residues-tolerance infractions, the Canadian track record lags behind the U.S.