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Organic Standards Interpretation

The Standards Interpretation Committee

In order to support operators implementing the Canadian Organic Standard and to resolve conflicting interpretations between certification bodies and certified operators, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has established in 2009 the Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC).

C.5.5 If an interpretation of an applicable standard is required by the Certification Body a certificate holder at any point during certification activities, it can be sought from the Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC).
(Source: Canada Organic Regime operating manual)

C.5.11 The CB shall adhere to the interpretations of the Canadian Organic Standards (CAN/CGSB 32.310, CAN/CGSB 32.311, and CAN/CGSB 32.312) provided by the SIC and considered official by the CFIA, to achieve uniform and consistent application of the rules to all operators through various CBs.
(Source: Canada Organic Regime operating manual)

The interpretations from the Standards Interpretation Committee are presented as Final Questions & Answers, categorized under sections corresponding to the numbering of the Canadian Organic Standards.

Questions & Answers Under Comment Period

The objective of the SIC is to provide interpretive guidance on issues related to the National Standards for Organic Agriculture (CAN/CGSB 32.310-2015 and CAN/CGSB32.311-2016).

All SIC interpretations shall be published for a 30-day public consultation. Subsequent to any received comments, the SIC may modify an interpretation and submit it to a second public consultation.

All comments regarding these answers should be sent to cfia.opr-rpb.acia@canada.ca.

Reports from previous public comment periods

Addressing a question to the SIC

Is there a question that you want to address to the SIC?

Questions about the meaning of a particular point in the Canadian Organic Standard may originate from any source and are directed to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at cfia.opr-rpb.acia@canada.ca

There is no specific form on which stakeholders should present their questions; but the SIC is suggesting the following guidelines:

So, feel free to send your questions remembering to:

SIC Terms of Reference

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, in partnership with the Organic Federation of Canada, has developed the Organic Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC). The objective of the Committee is to provide to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) interpretive guidance on issues related to the National Standards for Organic Agriculture (CAN/CGSB 32.310 and CAN/CGSB 32.311).

Click here to read the SIC Terms of Reference.

Proposed answers to questions, raised by organic stakeholders, regarding the National Standards for Organic Agriculture are posted on the website of OFC.

The elected members of the Standards Interpretation Committee are:

SIC Member - Rochelle Eisen - Organic Federation of Canada

Rochelle Eisen

Organic Inspector
SIC Member - Lorenz Eppinger - Organic Federation of Canada

Lorenz Eppinger

Organic Inspector
SIC Member - Allison Grant - Organic Federation of Canada

Allison Grant

Organic Inspector
SIC Member - Francois Handfield - Organic Federation of Canada

François Handfield

Organic Farmer
SIC Member - Etienne Nadeau - Organic Federation of Canada

Étienne Nadeau

Organic Inspector

Rob Wallbridge

Organic Specialist
SIC Member - Gavin Wright - Organic Federation of Canada

Gavin Wright

Organic Specialist

Health Care Products and Production Aids

Permitted Substances List of the Canadian Standards on Organic Production Systems – CAN/CGSB 32.311 – permit the use of Health Care Products and Production Aids in Table 5.3 under the various categories – “Anti-inflammatories, Biologics (including vaccines), Homeopathic and Biotherapies, Parasiticides and Anti-microbials, Plant oils”.

Click on Health Care Products and Production Aids to get a complete listing of substances commonly used in organic livestock husbandry, along with some specific recommendations of acceptable practices.

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