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2.1 Description
2.2 Definitions

2.1 Description

Foods should only refer to organic production methods if they come from an organic farm system employing management practices which seek to nurture ecosystems which achieve sustainable productivity, and provide weed, pest and disease control through a diverse mix of mutually dependent life forms, recycling plant and animal residues, crop selection and rotation, water management, tillage and cultivation. Soil fertility is maintained and enhanced by a system which optimises soil biological activity and the physical and mineral nature of the soil as the means to provide a balanced nutrient supply for plant and animal life as well as to conserve soil resources. Production should be sustainable with the recycling of plant nutrients as an essential part of the fertilizing strategy. Pest and disease management is attained by means of the encouragement of a balanced host/predator relationship, augmentation of beneficial insect populations, biological and cultural control and mechanical removal of pests and affected plant parts. The basis for organic livestock husbandry is the development of a harmonious relationship between land, plants and livestock, and respect for the physiological and behavioural needs of livestock. This is achieved by a combination of providing good quality organically grown feedstuffs, appropriate stocking rates, livestock husbandry systems appropriate to behavioural needs, and animal management practices that minimize stress and seek to promote animal health and welfare, prevent disease and avoid the use of chemical allopathic veterinary drugs (including antibiotics).

2.2 Definitions

For the purpose of these guidelines:

agricultural product/product of agricultural origin means any product or commodity, raw or processed, that is marketed for human consumption (excluding water, salt and additives) or animal feed.

audit is a systematic and functionally independent examination to determine whether activities and related results comply with planned objectives[3].

certification is the procedure by which official certification bodies, or officially recognized certification bodies, provide written or equivalent assurance that foods or food control systems conform to requirements. Certification of food may be, as appropriate, based on a range of inspection activities which may include continuous on-line inspection, auditing of quality assurance systems and examination of finished products.[4]

certification body means a body which is responsible for verifying that a product sold or labelled as "organic" is produced, processed, prepared handled, and imported according to these guidelines.

competent authority means the official government agency having jurisdiction.

genetically engineered/modified organisms. The following provisional definition is provided for genetically/modified organisms[5]. Genetically engineered/modified organisms, and products thereof, are produced through techniques in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination.

Techniques of genetic engineering/modification include, but are not limited to: recombinant DNA, cell fusion, micro and macro injection, encapsulation, gene deletion and doubling. Genetically engineered organisms will not include organisms resulting from techniques such as conjugation, transduction and hybridization.

ingredient means any substance, including a food additive, used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and present in the final product although possibly in a modified form[6].

inspection is the examination of food or systems for control of food, raw materials, processing, and distribution including in-process and finished product testing, in order to verify that they conform to requirements[7]. For organic food, inspection includes the examination of the production and processing system.

labelling means any written, printed or graphic matter that is present on the label, accompanies the food, or is displayed near the food, including that for the purpose of promoting its sale or disposal[8].

livestock means any domestic or domesticated animal including bovine (including buffalo and bison), [9]ovine, porcine, caprine, equine, poultry and bees raised for food or in the production of food. The products of hunting or fishing of wild animals shall not be considered part of this definition.

marketing means holding for sale or displaying for sale, offering for sale, selling, delivering or placing on the market in any other form.

official accreditation is the procedure by which a government agency having jurisdiction formally recognizes the competence of an inspection and/or certification body to provide inspection and certification services. For organic production the competent authority may delegate the accreditation function to a private body.

officially recognized inspection systems/officially recognized certification systems are systems which have been formally approved or recognized by a government agency having jurisdiction.[10]

operator means any person who produces, prepares or imports, with a view to the subsequent marketing thereof, products as referred to in Section 1.1, or who markets such products.

plant protection product means any substance intended for preventing, destroying, attracting, repelling, or controlling any pest or disease including unwanted species of plants or animals during the production, storage, transport, distribution and processing of food, agricultural commodities, or animal feeds.

preparation means the operations of slaughtering, processing, preserving and packaging of agricultural products and also alterations made to the labelling concerning the presentation of the organic production method.

production means the operations undertaken to supply agricultural products in the state in which they occur on the farm, including initial packaging and labelling of the product.

veterinary drug means any substance applied or administered to any food-producing animal, such as meat or milk-producing animals, poultry, fish or bees, whether used for therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic purposes or for modification of physiological functions or behaviour[11].

[3] CAC/GL 20-1995
[4] CAC/GL 20-1995
[5] In the absence of a definition of genetically engineered/modified organisms agreed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, this definition has been developed in order to provide initial guidance for governments in the application of these guidelines. This definition is therefore to remain under review in the light of other considerations by the Commission and its Committees. In the interim, member countries may also apply national definitions.
[6] Codex Alimentarius Volume 1A - General Requirements, Section 4 -Labelling of Prepackaged Foods (CODEX STAN 1-1985, Rev 1-1991)
[7] CAC/GL 20-1995
[8] CODEX STAN 1-1985 (Rev 1-1991)
[9] Provisions for aquaculture will be elaborated at a future date.
[10] CAC/GL 20-1995
[11]Codex Alimentarius Commission Procedural Manual, Definitions

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