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Rogue Traders and Organic Fish

There was an announcement yesterday by Food Minister Trevor Sargent regarding tightening up on rogue traders selling so called organic food when it isn’t approved by a certification body.

Unfortunately this won’t apply to aquaculture products as they won’t apply until January 2009, so “caveat emptor” when buying organic fish.

Let the buyer beware.

Check the labels for an approved Certification body such as the Organic Trust and IOFGA.

It is important to note that, where a fish has been further processed, such as smoked, and while the actual fish may have come from an organically approved farm, the processor or smoker must also be approved to call it Organic Smoked Salmon or Smoked Organic Salmon. But until January 2009 it is quite legitimate to label it as such despite the processor not been approved.

So make sure that the label carries the Organic Trust or IOFGA symbol.

[tags]Trevor Sargent, Organic Salmon, Organic Trust, IOFGA[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Rogue Traders and Organic Fish

  1. We have to welcome a move in this direction. The Department of Agriculture has always been in a strange position – as the pesticides control authority, it authorises the use of pesticides. It can’t then turn around and claim that organic produce is safer, as that would imply that they were approving something that was unsafe.

    So passing of conventional vegetables as organic is a “labelling issue”. Nothing more than that. Having a Green Junior Minister in the food end of the Department at least sets up some delineation thankfully.

  2. A reply to Quentin Gargan from Trevor Sargent, Minister of Food and Horticulture:

    Dear Quentin

    Thank you for your kind words in relation to the additional statutory powers granted to Department officials, which will enable them to enforce the Regulations governing the organic sector much more effectively. Organic aquaculture, however, does not currently come within the scope of these Regulations.

    This is due to change, however, with the inclusion of aquaculture in the new organic Regulation, which is due to come into force on 1 January 2009. This lead in time allows for the implementing rules for the new Regulation to be worked on at Commission Working Group level in the intervening period.

    If, before January 2009, a situation arises that someone sells smoked salmon as organic when it isn’t, the Department would refer the case to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland who would pursue it under the general labelling Regulations.

    I hope this clarifies the situation for you.

    Yours sincerely

    Trevor Sargent T.D

    Minister for Food and Horticulture

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