MPP Jim McDonell wants Ontario to have stricter standards when it comes to which foods are labelled as "organic."
The Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP has introduced a private member's bill — bill 54 or the Organic Products Act — that would bar producers from marketing their foods as organic unless they are approved by a provincial certification body. He told 1310 NEWS' The Rick Gibbons Show that the new legislation would bring Ontario's regulations for produce grown in the province in line with those for imported organic food.
"In Ontario, there is no regulation concerning organic foods if they do not cross a border. A good portion of the food you see labelled as organic has no regulations to follow and no regulations to follow and no actual periodic inspection. So it is a challenge," said McDonell, who is a Progressive Conservative.
Listen to the full interview here:
The bill, which recently passed second reading, would set up a government body with inspectors to ensure Ontario producers who want to label their foods as "organic" are meeting certain standards.
"We want to make sure we're backing up our organic farmers (and) that people know if they buy something form Ontario, just like if they buy an organic product from Manitoba or B.C., it has that high standard they can count on," McDonell said.
While the vast majority of private members' bills are not passed into law, McDonell says introducing such a bill is a good opportunity to promote the issue.