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Written Answers. - Sale of Organic Food.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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 200. Miss Harney Information on Mary Harney Zoom on Mary Harney  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry Information on Ivan Yates Zoom on Ivan Yates  if EU regulations for the organic sector of agriculture are being implemented; if he will establish an independent control body to set and maintain standards for the production and sale of organic food; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9226/96]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): Information on Ivan Yates Zoom on Ivan Yates Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2092/91, as amended, lays down the rules which must be followed in the organic production of plant and plant products. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry is the competent authority recognised under the regulation and other bodies may be approved by it to operate the inspection system set out in the regulation. There are three such independent bodies in Ireland — Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association Ltd., Organic Trust Ltd., and Demeter Standards Ltd. There is no EU regulation in place governing livestock production at present but one is being prepared. I have no plans, at this time, for the establishment of an independent control body as referred to by the Deputy. The Deputy may be assured, however, that I am keeping the organic farming sector under ongoing review and I will be working to ensure that this important sector is developed to its full potential.

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