'Organic' label for farmed fish fails to meet organic principles 6/11
A group of more than 50 organizations, including Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, are calling on the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) to overhaul its proposed draft standards for farmed fish and to develop new standards in line with basic organic principles. Led by the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR), the group sent a letter spelling out its objections and needed changes. The CGSB is accepting public comments on the draft until May 31, 2011.
One of the most objectionable sections of the proposed standard would give open-net pen farmed salmon organic certification. In September 2010, Consumers Union voiced strong opposition to the proposed standards saying that fish labeled as 'organic' that are not fed 100 percent organic feed, that come from polluting open-net pen systems, or that are contaminated with PCBs should not be certified 'organic' as it would mislead consumers.
In its May 27, 2011 letter to the CGSB, the group notes "Canada and the U.S. currently have an equivalency agreement for organic standards. Weak Canadian aquaculuture standards may put downward pressure on U.S. Standards as they go through the final approval process with the U.S. Department of Agriculture."
Similar proposed organic standards for U.S. farmed fish have also been issued and are awaiting final review and rulemaking from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The U.S. standards being recommended would also fall far short of the standards set for other organically-raised animals—unless the USDA revises the proposals before finalizing them—according to Consumers Union and many of the organizations that signed the letter to the Canadian government.
'Organic' label on fish would mislead under proposed standards 9/10
May 2011 Letter to Canadian Standards Board Commitee in regards to 'Organic' fish labelling
"'Organic' label for farmed fish fails to meet fundamental organic principals, 5/11",Press release, Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform
"'Organic' label for farmed fish inadequate: green groups," FIS World News, May 30, 2011