CFIA Allows False Organic Claims and Pesticide Pollution

It has recently come to light that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is allowing businesses to claim their foods and products are organic, without penalty, when clearly they are not:

Pesticide residue found on nearly half of organic produce

  Pesticide levels on some organic produce indicate use was deliberate

Organic test results not sent for followup, CFIA admits

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When you pay extra for organic food, don’t you think you should be getting actual organic food?

Shouldn’t those of us who, for medical reasons, require our diet to be as free of toxic chemicals as is possible (this requires a whole other post), be assured that when we buy something that is certified organic, that it actually is organic and not full of pesticides?

Shouldn’t a taxpayer funded federal agency be protecting citizen health by making sure our food is safe and accurately labelled instead of protecting industry profits?

Pesticide drift and deliberate pesticide applications are totally unacceptable and preventable with proper regulations and enforcement of regulations.

Time to call and write our MPs to let them know that is totally unacceptable for the CFIA to allow companies to deliberately mislead us into believing their foods and products are grown without pesticides and then get off without serious penalties. They should be heavily penalized and prohibited from using organic labels in the future!

Find your Member of Parliament using your Postal Code

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8 responses to “CFIA Allows False Organic Claims and Pesticide Pollution

  1. Great. So organic no longer means “no pesticides,” just “fewer pesticides,” or in some cases “as many pesticides for twice the money”? UGH. (I WOULD write to Parliament, but I don’t think they would listen because I’m in the US!) Regarding the article that discussed the tomatoes/peppers imported from Mexico, health food stores here, especially giant chains like Whole Foods, seem to be importing a lot of food from Mexico nowadays. I wonder if it is tested and how much residue it has. I wonder what the regulations are for imported organic food in the US.
    Also, how is it possible to prevent the drift? Interesting. Thank you for this post.

    • I know there are some “pesticides” that are approved for organic farming, I think they are not synthetic, but it’s been a while since I looked into it. I’ll add some links below with more info should you or anyone else wish to learn more.

      The certifying bodies and food agencies are supposed to have some controls in place, but inspections are too few and far between. It wouldn’t hurt to talk with the stores we buy from and make sure they know their supply chain and have some trust in it.

      I have to eat organic, and don’t have a choice about where I get my food from now, so I really have to hope that my delivery service gets good the stuff… Every now and again I have my doubts, but most of my symptoms are delayed, so it’s hard to pin them down to one thing, especially if I made a soup with 4 different vegetables in it. I buy as local and seasonal as I can to still have as varied a diet as I can, but between my allergies and what he carries, it sometimes doesn’t leave much choice, so I occasionally do have to buy foods from California, Mexico or South America (as rarely as I can, I don’t like everything that is involved with long distance food, and I don’t trust the transportation to be contamination free).

      Organic farms need to have buffers between themselves and conventional farms, and pesticides aren’t supposed to be applied when there are winds, but a lot of pesticide applicators really don’t bother with the instructions, and the drift can travel for miles…

      This is an organization in the US that is working on the drift issue.
      Obviously more work needs to be done. http://www.fieldwatch.com/

      Organic certifying bodies in Canada: http://www.cog.ca/index.php?page=certification-bodies

      US organic standards: http://www.epa.gov/oecaagct/torg.html

      Buying from local organic farmers (CSAs) and farmers markets where you can talk with the farmers and or visit the farms is the safest option these days, after growing your own…

  2. I’ve found that the only way you can be absolutely sure that your food is 1005 organic,is if you grow it yourself.

  3. I wish I could grow my own organic food! It’s hard to do in an apartment. I belong to a very large food co-op so I get my organic food there. Linda, thank you for the links! Your posts are so informative.
    I also just remembered why your name looked familiar. In 2011, I was one of the co-admins on the #Occupy At Home Facebook page, and I remember seeing your name and comments/likes.
    Small world!

    • Thank you. I am glad you and others find them helpful. Eventually I hope to be able to organize it all better too.
      And I do remember the fb page! Sharon was involved with that! Thanks for being there and nice to “see” you here!

      Re food, we can at least grow sprouts at home! I learned how when I had to spend a winter in a summer cabin, with little access to organic produce.

      Food co-ops are excellent too!
      But I haven’t been able to “access” one here because I’ve been too disabled to meet their participation requirements!!!

  4. Yeah, Sharon created it. The page is still up — I don’t think she’s posted any links in the last few months though. Nice to “see” you too!
    Our co-op has a “disabled list” which exempts you from its work requirement. If you can prove that your disability prevents you from doing any co-op work, the co-op will exempt you from the monthly three-hour shift. A friend with MCS is on it, and I am on it for my hand injuries, spine injuries, and fibro (there are no work shifts that don’t require bending or use of hands). They will also allow you a disability shopper. My friend has her home healthcare assistant shop for her. Do any food coops near you have an exemption like this? They really should if they don’t!

    • The co-ops are smaller community groups purchasing together from a larger org, more like buying clubs, I guess. There’s not an established bricks and mortar co-op here (that I am aware of).

      It’s been really challenging getting some things, but slowly it’s getting easier. If my health continues to improve, it will get even easier for me to create better arrangements (and had there been more help to make those arrangements happen when I moved here, my health might have improved ages ago). I’m grateful for those who have stepped up to help, but I have been living without basics because the necessary support systems do not exist for people with MCS/ES.

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