Acceptable organic substances altered

Soil background Photo: Thinkstock

By Jennifer Paige
OrganicBiz staff

The new Canadian Organic Standards (COS) will give certified growers a clearer picture of what the can and cannot use on their fields.

The new document is accompanied with a revised substance list that includes a new annex in order to be more user friendly, said Nicole Boudreau, coordinator with the Organic Federation of Canada.

The big thing when it comes to substances is the synthetic matter. They do not want synthetic substances in the soil. – Nicole Boudreau, Organic Federation of Canada

Within the review process, Boudreau says substances are not just looked at for the finished product, but also for the process of how the substance comes about.

“The big thing when it comes to substances is the synthetic matter,” she said. “They do not want synthetic substances in the soil. Moreover, they have looked at the process of these substances. Many times when you have minerals, you have extraction processes that are not complying.”

New additions to permitted crop production substances include Biochar, meat meal and anaerobic digestate.

“In dairy production substances, there has been the addition of physical teat seals to help prevent the use of antibiotics,” said Boudreau.

She explains that teat seals are small devices that can be inserted into the teat orifice after milking to prevent anything entering the orifice and infecting the cow.

“Physical teat seals are something you can only use with the help of your veterinarian. But they are a new tool to help producers reduce infection and the need for antibiotics.”

Non- synthetic acids for drinking water treatments are the only other new substances for livestock. The majority of the other revisions in this section involve amendment to wording for better clarity.

The approved substance list can be found on the Government of Canada website.

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