Interpretation Corner

From time to time I receive questions from organic producers across the province that are not clearly defined under the Canada Organic Standard. In an ongoing effort to better understand how to apply the organic standard within your farming operation, we will be including questions from previous rounds of the Organic Standards Interpretation Committee (SIC) and their accepted answers. The Organic SIC is an advisory body set up by the Canadian Organic Office (COO) with representatives from the organic sector in Canada. A full listing of Q & A's posed to the SIC are available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) website ( and on the Organic Federation of Canada's (OFA) website (

Please note that some certification bodies may have additional requirements to the Canada Organic Standard and you should always contact your certification body for clarification.

Livestock Production

Section 5.2: Feed, Feed Additives and Feed Supplements

Question: Is L-Lysine allowed in the feed for organic birds? (80)

Answer: Yes. Table 5.2 allows for the use of non-synthetic amino acids such as L-Lysine. L-lysine is terminology which does not distinguish whether the substance is synthetic or not. Synthetic lysine, such as L-Lysine HCL, is not permitted.

Crop Production

Section 5.6: Crop pest, disease and weed management

Question: Can a farmer irrigate land from an irrigation system that uses Magnicide? (19)

Answer: Active substances included in Magnicide are not allowed for application to organic production units. If equipment that has been in contact with prohibited substances is thoroughly cleaned and can be shown to be free from such substances, it may be used to irrigate organic farms. Although irrigation equipment is not specifically mentioned in the standard, the principle outlined in 5.6.3 should apply.

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