Organic Rules and Certification

All differences in one table by Subjects

  • Subject Areas
    • Pollution risks/non permitted inputs
      • Environment contaminants (heavy metals etc)
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Collection of wild plants - DE Naturland 2005
Wild grown collected products that are to be marketed with reference to organic certification must not be contaminated. (NL standards on production, Part B.IX. Wild grown products 2)
The NATURLAND standard is more precise. In the EU Regulation 2092/91 no specific provisions for the exclusion of contamination of wild products are given and no regular analysis are required. This is to ensure the organic integrity of the product.
Contamination, heavy metals- SE KRAV Standards 2006
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There are maximum limits for the amounts of heavy metals brought into farmland by the use of inputs (fertilizers, soil conditioners, chemical pesticides, herbicides) or indirectly by the use in animal husbandry (feed, feed minerals and medicines). Fertilisers and soil conditioners shall be analysed when there is a reason to expect high concentrations of contaminants (KRAV Standards paragraph 4.2.5 and 4.3.7). There are limits for lead, cadmium, copper, chromium, mercury, nickel and zinc (Annex 3).
In the EU regulation 2092/91 there are limitations for the heavy metal content of composted or fermented household waste, fur and aluminium calcium phosphate, but not for the amounts of heavy metals brought into a farm, whereas the KRAV standards have a more general approach to the issue of heavy metal contamination of soil. There are increasing amounts of heavy metals in the agricultural nutrient circulation system. Organic agriculture is dependent on the soil and the nutrients in the soil to produce food and feed. There is also an increased risk for the use of not so well known fertilisers which will fulfil organic standards but where the heavy metal content might be too high. An organic farmer should have full knowledge about what is brought into the farm and in to the soil.
Contamination, preventing - CZ PRO-BIO Standards 2004 In case of new sites and land areas, it is necessary to consider previous use. If a pollution risk exists, soil and products have to be analysed. No similar paragraph is quoted in the EU Regulation 2092/91. It is necessary to exclude previous contamination of natural background of new sites/farms.
Contamination, preventing, contaminated areas - DE Bioland 2005
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Areas that are contaminated with harmful substances from the environment or from previous use of the area cannot be used for the production of BIOLAND food products (Bioland article 3.2 Location and 7.10 Contamination tests).
The BIOLAND standard has an specific provision, which is not in the EU Regulation 2092/91, regarding the handling of contaminated areas, but there is just a general statement about the possibility for the authorities to prolonge the conversion period for certain areas taking into account the prior use. To guarantee the innocuousness of BIOLAND products.
Contamination, reducing, storage and transport - NL Skal Standards 2005
All contact with forbidden products should be avoided. This means that it is not allowed to store or transport the organic product in storage places or trucks where products are being used / have been used that are not mentioned in annex VI part A.
SKAL interprets the rule in a way that all prevention methods should be taken to avoid any risk of contamination, whereas the EU Regulation 2092/91 does not mention possible prevention methods. See EU Rule Text: Article 5 part 3 c), d) and part 5 d), e): The product contains no other products of non-agricultural origin, as mentioned in annex VI, part a" It seems easier to inspect the methods of storage and transport, than the contamination itself. Also because the contamination check can be too late (the product may be contaminated already).
Fertilization, substrates, heavy metals - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005
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Best practice recommendations are explained regarding heavy metal in soil. Maximum permitted levels of heavy metals are specified for topsoil and manure. Soil Association standards explain that soil heavy metal concentrations need to be maintained at healthy levels and that nutrient inputs should not increase concentrations above acceptable levels. This is followed by a table specifying the maximum permitted levels of heavy metals (in total dry matter) for soils and manures. These include zinc, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 4.9.2.)
Soil Association standards contain recommendations and restrictions on heavy metal levels for topsoil and manure, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only mentions heavy metal levels for household wastes and phosphate fertilizers. High levels of heavy metals in soil can be toxic to crop plants, and can be taken up by crops and cause health problems to people. High levels of heavy metals in manures can lead to accumulation in the soil to which they are applied. This could lead to longer-term problems for crop yields and safety. Soil Association restrictions on heavy metal in soils and manures are intended to minimise these associated risks.
Manure fertilizers, intensity - CH Bio Suisse Standards 2005
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The amount of nitrogen and phosphorous input per hectare is strictly limited, in general to max 2.5 LSU/ha or less depending on the crops.
Limits for the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus provided by different means of fertilisation are restricted by Bio Suisse; for different crops specific limits apply - whereas the sum of phosphorus applied by fertilisation is taken into consideration as well as nitorgen levels. The EU Regulation 2092/91 sets general limits for ferilisation intensity only for nitrogen: maximum application per yeare is 170kg nitrogen/ha. In order to avoid excessive use of fertilizers and successive contamination of the environment by leached nutrients, BIO SUISSE limits use of both nitrogen and phosphorous to effective levels required by crops.
Plant protection, copper - AT Bio Austria General Standard 2006
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The annual amount of copper for plant protection is more restricted then in annex II B of EEC-regulation 2092/91. Per year are allowed 2 kg/ha, to fruits 2,5 kg/ha, to vineyard 3 kg/ha and to hope 4 kg/ha. (BA-Rules chapter 2.1.5, 2.3.3, 4.1.7, 4.3.8, 4.4.3, 4.4.7)
EU Regulation 2092/91 allows 6 kg copper from the end of 2006, but no restrictions are made in terms of different crops. Bio Austria General Standard restricts the amount of copper per ha in relation to different crops (2-4 kg/ha). The Bio Austria General Standard restricts copper application between 2-4 kg per ha in relation to different crops. EU Regulation 2092/91 allows 6 kg copper from the end of 2006. No restrictions are made in terms of different crops.
Plant protection, copper - AT Bio CH Bio Suisse Standard 2005
Copper preparations are admitted for fungal disease control. Arable crops can not be treated with copper, except for potatoes, vegetables and hops. The annual amount of copper applied is clearly restricted for individual crops to a maximum 4 kg/ha metalic copper, for apple and pears 1.5 kg/ha and for berries 2 kg/ha).
Copper application is restricted to lower quantities and in terms of crops (application rate between 1.5-4 kg pure metallic copper, arable crops excluded except potatoes). EU Regulatoin 2092/91 admits 8kg of copper till the end of 2006 and maximum 6 kg of copper afterwards: no restrictions are made in terms of crops being treated with copper preparations. Copper is being accumulated in the soil: in order to promote sound soil fertility, any accumulation of heavy metals should be avoided.
Textiles, fibre - Int. IFOAM Standards 2005
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Minimal requirements for fibre processing are stated in the IFOAM standards such as: Operators should avoid the use of non-biodegradable, bio-accumulating input products and heavy metals. (6.7.)
EU Regulation 2092/91 does not cover the area of fiber processing.