Greens support Organic Products Act for a healthier food system

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QUEEN’S PARK — The Green Party of Ontario is calling on the Liberal government to fast-track the Organic Products Act, which died on the orders paper last month when the Liberals prorogued the Legislature.  The Act to regulate organic products in the province was reintroduced yesterday in Queen’s Park by MPPs Peter Tabuns and Sylvia Jones.

“As a long-time local food advocate, I know how hard farmers work to meet organic standards and take care of the land. This legislation is essential for rewarding their efforts and ensuring the organics sector is fair, transparent, and ready for growth,” said Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner.

Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia all regulate their provincial organic standards, leaving Ontario as the largest province in the country without this level of oversight. As a result, organic labelling is less meaningful and vulnerable to abuse in Ontario. Not only does this leave consumers in doubt about the integrity of organic products, it disadvantages farmers who have spent energy and resources to achieve organic certification.

“This bill will support organic food and farmers. It is an important step in growing a more vibrant organic food movement. We need this legislation so that an organic food label actually means something. This will pull the whole sector towards greater sustainability,” added Schreiner.

Ultimately this is about taking steps to reduce harmful chemicals, protect our water and soil, and address climate change, core values for the Green Party of Ontario. In addition to supporting the Organic Products Act, the GPO supports funding for an Organic Food Growth Strategy and a check off program to support organic farmers.

“Organic production needs to grow so that we all have access to healthy local food, and we replace imported organic food with homegrown products. We support the Organic Council of Ontario in calling for this legislation to be passed without delay,” said Schreiner.