Organic Rules and Certification

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    • Definitions
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Title Description Difference Justification and Comments
Definitions - US National Organic Programme 2002
NOP contains a detailled list of defined terms.
The NOP list of definitions is more detailed compared to EU Regulation 2092/91. NOP does not cover a definition of genetically modified organisms (GMO), however genetic engineering is covered under the definition for "excluded methods". The EU defines GMO's and GMO derivatives. The NOP definition of "excluded methods" does not address GMO derivatives. NOP re definitions of GMO's: "The emphasis and basis of these standards is on process, not product. We have specifically structured the provisions relating to excluded methods to refer to the use of methods. Including the products of excluded methods in the definition would not be consistent. With this approach to organic standards as a process-based system. For the same reason, we have retained the term, 'excluded methods', to reinforce that process-based approach. Further justifications for the definitions are described in the attached extract of the NOP "Entire Standards".
Principles of organic agriculture - SP CRAE 2002
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The Regulatory Council for Organic Farming in the Canarian Island (CRAE) has defined organic principles including an Agroecology definition. The scientific fundaments of organic farming is the agroecology, an integrated science that takes care of the study of agriculture from a holistic perspective: considering not only the technical or agronomic aspect, but also other dimensions: 2.) the societal 3) economic and 4.) environmental one. The aims of the agroecology are: to achieve that the agrarian activity is sustainable (able to maintain indefinitely in the time and by its own means, with the minimum of external support), from anyone of the four considered points of view. It can be download from the webpage: in spanish
CRAE have further defined organic principles within the EU Regulation 2092/91. The text is defining the agroecology as a fundament of organic agriculture considering social aspects, not included in the EU Regulation. To include an holistic perspective in organic farming.
Scope of organic regulation - US National Organic Program 2002
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US regulates cultivated crop, wild crop, livestock, livestock feed and handling (preparation and processing) operations. For labelling purposes US only regulates the term 'organic', not derivatives or diminutives. Exemptions: US exempts producers and handlers with less than $5000/year total organic sales from certification requirements, although they must comply with the regulation.
EU Regulation 2092/91 is only applied to unprocessed agricultural products, processed agricultural products and feedstuff. US, in addition applies the regulation to processed non-food products although there are no specific provisions or exemptions (e.g. additives for producing cosmetics or textiles) for non-food products. EU regulates the terms 'organic', 'biologic', and 'ecologic', including their translations, derivatives, and diminutives. US only regulate the term 'organic'. US exempt producers and handlers with less than $5000/year. EU does not. Retail operations are not required to be certified by US, but by EU (with some exemptions). US exempt handlers that process products containing less than 70% organic ingredients from certification. EU prohibits such operations from identifying 'organic' ingredients on the information panels of products. No justification was given