Thursday, 27 June 2019

Questions (214)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

214. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if salmon farms that have used more than the allowed number of chemical treatments under organic certification lose their organic certification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27390/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The organic status of operators in Ireland is certified by rigorous on-going assessment undertaken on behalf of my Department by designated Organic Control Bodies. My Department is the Competent Authority under EU regulations but has delegated the certification function to these bodies, in accordance with the relevant EU regulations and in common with the practice in many other countries across the EU. The Organic Control Bodies in question act under formal service agreements with my Department and are themselves subject to audit by my Department, by INAB (the Irish National Accreditation Board) and by the various EU audit authorities.

Article 25 of Commission Regulation 710/2009, which lays down detailed rules in relation to organic aquaculture animal and seaweed production, provides for the use and control of allopathic treatments which are deemed permissible.

In accordance with Article 92(d) of Commission Regulation 889/2008 as amended, my Department has issued a Catalogue of Infringements to Organic Control Bodies operating in Ireland. This Catalogue lists infringements and irregularities affecting the organic status of products and corresponding measures to be applied by control bodies in case of infringements or irregularities by operators under their control who are involved in organic production.

The Catalogue classifies veterinary treatments in respect of aquaculture which are non-compliant, as a critical non-compliance. The appropriate sanction in respect of a critical non-compliance as laid down in the Catalogue of Infringements requires immediate decertification of the batch/product/lot as appropriate.