Wednesday, 29 April 2015 10:17

Can we trust organic?

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Consumers need to know they can trust food labels, but according to the Soil and Health Association, some producers are misusing the word 'organic'.

Marion Thomson, co-chair of Soil & Health, says they are disappointed that the Ministry for Primary Industries has abandoned discussions about the regulation of the word organic until 2017.

"Many farmers and producers are responding to demand and producing high quality, certified organic products. But there are a few producers claiming their products are organic when in fact they aren't."

Thomson says that some producers may be unintentionally misleading consumers; others may be deliberately using the word organic as part of their marketing strategy to sell more product and/or at a higher price.

According to Thomson, consumers can trust food or other products (e.g. skincare) that are labelled as certified organic, because they are subject to rigorous third-party audits to ensure their safety and integrity.

"We would love to see some leadership from the Ministry for Primary Industries in regulating the word organic, so consumers can have some certainty," she says.

"Other countries have done this, so there are examples to follow."

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