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New organic, biodynamic standards introduced

Fri Oct 9 01:43:03 EST 2009
Thu Oct 8 14:43:03 UTC 2009
Subject: [Fwd: FED: New organic, biodynamic standards introduced] name="FED: New organic, biodynamic standards introduced.eml" filename="FED: New organic, biodynamic standards introduced.eml" Subject: FED: New organic, biodynamic standards introduced FED: New organic, biodynamic standards introduced Eds: Embargoed until 0001 AEDT Friday, October 9

CANBERRA, Oct 9 AAP - Australians can be assured that organic means just that under a new national standard to be introduced on Friday.

The standard - which outlines minimum requirements required to meet the organic or biodynamic tick of approval - has been called a major step forward for both industries.

It is the first national standard to be introduced, and while voluntary, will give consumers greater confidence in the goods they buy, standards officials say.

Previously, there were eight different certification schemes, making it confusing for producers as well as customers.

There was also a rising number of dodgy operators claiming to be organic or biodynamic with nothing to back them up.

"It's hardly surprising how difficult it is to know what is actually organic," Standards Australia chief executive John Tucker said in a statement.

But the one standard will give customers an easy way of identifying organic or biodynamic products which abide by a nationally-consistent standard.

"Consumers can be sure that products complying with this standard have been produced following natural, sustainable, ethical and environmentally-responsible farming practices," Mr Tucker said.

The standard requires, among other things, a restriction on the use of chemical pesticides or fertilisers, genetically-modified products and the organic label to be held off for at least three years after required farming practices are adopted.

It also requires the use of organic or biodynamic livestock feed before meats can themselves be labelled the same.

The standard covers production, preparation, transportation, marketing and labelling and also requires strict maintenance records, to be looked over by an independent third party.