B.C. organic beef producer pleads non-compliance

beef

Sentencing is coming up next month for a major British Columbia organic beef producer that pled guilty to a federal charge over the provenance of some of its beef.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says sentencing will be delivered Oct. 27 on The Blue Goose Cattle Co., a North Vancouver company with ranch operations near 70 Mile House, about 150 km northwest of Kamloops.

CFIA, in an Aug. 31 release, said it laid one charge under the federal Food and Drugs Act on July 13 this year, related to beef sold in British Columbia as “certified organic” on or about March 7 and 14, 2017.

CFIA alleged the beef sold as “certified organic” in those transactions came from cattle that had been treated with hormones or antibiotics, or fed food that was not organic, by a previous owner.

The charge against the company was laid under section 5 (1) of the Act, stating “No person shall label, package, treat, process, sell or advertise any food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety.”

Blue Goose entered a guilty plea to the charge on July 28 at Provincial Court in North Vancouver, followed by a sentencing hearing, CFIA said.

In business since 2004, Blue Goose has been billed as “one of the world’s largest producers of organic and premium beef products” and certified organic in both Canada and the U.S.

On its website, the company says its livestock are raised with no added hormones or antibiotics and “kept robust and healthy naturally — without the need for medications. Any animal that has to be treated with antibiotics is removed from the program.”

No animal byproducts are fed to the Blue Goose herd, the company said, and animals destined for organic certification “are even further monitored, being raised only on feed from organically grown legumes.”

(File photo: Prostock-Studio/iStock/Getty Images)