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The Organic Agricultural Products Act

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S.M. 2007, c. 15

Bill 13, 1st Session, 39th Legislature

The Organic Agricultural Products Act

(Assented to November 8, 2007)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"advertisement" means anything that directly or indirectly promotes the sale or other distribution of an agricultural product. (« promotion »)

"agricultural product" means

(a) an animal, a plant, or an animal or plant product;

(b) a product, including any food or drink, wholly or partly derived from an animal or a plant; or

(c) a product prescribed for the purpose of this Act. (« produit agricole »)

"analyst" means a person appointed or designated as an analyst under section 6. (« analyste »)

"certification body" means a person or body designated as a certification body under section 3. (« organisme de certification »)

"container" means a receptacle, package, wrapper or confining band used or to be used in connection with an agricultural product. (« contenant »)

"inspector" means a person appointed or designated as an inspector under section 6. (« inspecteur »)

"label" means a label, legend, word, mark, symbol, design, imprint, stamp, brand, ticket or tag or any combination thereof that is, or is to be, applied or attached to an agricultural product or a container, or that accompanies or is to accompany an agricultural product or container. (« étiquetage »)

"marketing" means the preparation and advertisement of agricultural products, and includes the conveyance, purchase and sale of agricultural products, and any other act necessary to make agricultural products available for consumption or use. (« commercialisation »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"multi-ingredient product" means a type of agricultural product composed of two or more agricultural products. (« produit multi-ingrédients »)

"organic product" means an agricultural product that has been certified as organic in accordance with this Act. (« produit biologique »)

"person" includes a partnership or an unincorporated association. (« personne »)

"place" includes a vehicle or other conveyance. (« lieu »)

"preparation", in relation to an agricultural product, includes processing, slaughtering, storing, inspecting, grading, packing, assembling, marking and labelling. (« conditionnement »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulation under this Act.

"sell" includes

(a) agreeing to sell, or offering, keeping, exposing, transmitting, conveying or delivering for sale;

(b) selling by consignment;

(c) exchanging or agreeing to exchange; and

(d) disposing of or consenting to dispose of, in any manner, for a consideration. (« vente »)

Reference to "Act" includes regulations

1(2)        A reference to "this Act" includes the regulations made under this Act.

CERTIFICATION OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS

Marketing and labelling of organic products

2           No person shall market or label an agricultural product using the term "organic", "biologique" or any other prescribed term unless the product has been certified as organic in accordance with this Act.

Regulations respecting organic certification

3           The minister may make regulations respecting the certification of agricultural products as organic products, including, but not limited to, regulations

(a) designating as a certification body any person or body the minister considers to be knowledgeable about the principles and practices of organic certification;

(b) respecting the making of applications to a certification body by persons who wish to have agricultural products certified as organic products;

(c) respecting procedures, criteria and standards for organic certification, including the certification of multi-ingredient products;

(d) prescribing the period that an organic certification remains in effect;

(e) governing the records to be kept in respect of certified organic products;

(f) governing the renewal, suspension and cancellation of an organic certification;

(g) respecting appeals from decisions by a certification body to not certify agricultural products as organic products, or to suspend, cancel or not renew an organic certification.

Agreement with certification body

4(1)        The minister may enter into an agreement with a certification body respecting the certification of agricultural products as organic products under this Act.

Terms of agreement

4(2)        An agreement under subsection (1) may authorize the certification body to keep any fees, charges or costs that it is entitled to recover under section 12 and use those amounts to, among other things, defray the costs of performing the duties and functions specified in the agreement.

Agreement with Government of Canada or agency

5           The minister may enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada or an agency of the Government of Canada respecting the administration and enforcement of this Act.

INSPECTIONS AND ENFORCEMENT

Appointment of inspectors and analysts

6(1)        The minister may appoint any person as an inspector or analyst for the purpose of this Act.

Designation

6(2)        The minister may, on such terms and conditions as the minister may specify, designate any person or class of persons to act as an inspector or analyst in relation to any matter referred to in the designation.

Certificate to be produced

6(3)        An inspector or analyst carrying out a responsibility under this Act must produce evidence of his or her appointment when requested to do so.

Powers of inspectors

7(1)        For the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act, an inspector may, subject to section 9, enter and inspect any place, or stop any vehicle, in which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds there is any agricultural product that is labelled, is being marketed or is intended to be marketed as an organic product or other thing in respect of which this Act applies, and the inspector may

(a) open any container that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds contains an agricultural product;

(b) inspect any agricultural product or other thing and take samples of it free of charge; and

(c) require any person to produce for inspection or copying, in whole or in part, any record or other document that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds contains any information relevant to the administration of this Act.

Driver of vehicle must stop

7(2)        When an inspector signals or requests a person driving a vehicle to stop, the person must immediately bring the vehicle to a stop and must not proceed until permitted to do so by the inspector.

Operation of data processing systems and copying equipment

7(3)        In carrying out an inspection under this section, an inspector may

(a) use or cause to be used any computer or data processing system to examine any data contained in or available to it;

(b) obtain data in the form of a printout or other intelligible output and take the printout or other output for examination or copying; and

(c) use or cause to be used any copying equipment to make copies of any record or other document.

Records

7(4)        An inspector may remove any records or documents that he or she is entitled to examine or copy but must give a receipt to the person from whom they were taken and promptly return them when the examination is completed.

Assistance to inspectors

7(5)        The owner or the person in charge of a place or vehicle inspected under this section and any person found in the place or vehicle must

(a) give the inspector all reasonable assistance to enable the inspector to carry out his or her duties under this Act; and

(b) provide the inspector with any information relevant to the administration of this Act that the inspector may reasonably request.

No obstruction

8           No person shall obstruct or hinder, or make a false or misleading statement either orally or in writing to, an inspector who is carrying out duties or functions under this Act.

Warrant required to enter dwelling place

9(1)        An inspector may not enter a dwelling place except with the consent of the occupant or under the authority of a warrant.

Authority to issue warrant

9(2)        A justice who is satisfied by information on oath that

(a) the conditions for entry described in section 7 exist in relation to a dwelling place;

(b) entry to the dwelling place is necessary for a purpose relating to the administration of this Act; and

(c) entry to the dwelling place has been refused or that there are reasonable grounds for believing that entry will be refused;

may at any time issue a warrant authorizing an inspector and any other person named in the warrant to enter the dwelling place, subject to any conditions that may be specified in the warrant.

Warrant to search and seize

10(1)       A justice who is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) an offence under this Act has been committed; and

(b) there is to be found in any place an agricultural product or other thing that will afford evidence in respect of the commission of an offence;

may at any time issue a warrant authorizing an inspector and any other person named in the warrant to enter and search the place for the agricultural product or other thing, and to seize and detain it.

Use of force

10(2)       An inspector and any other person named in the warrant may use whatever reasonable force is necessary to execute the warrant and may call on a police officer for assistance in executing the warrant.

Additional seizure powers

10(3)       An inspector who executes a warrant issued under subsection (1) may exercise the powers described in section 7 and may seize, in addition to anything mentioned in the warrant, any agricultural product or other thing

(a) by means of which or in relation to which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that this Act has been contravened; or

(b) that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds will afford evidence in respect of a contravention of this Act.

Where warrant not necessary

10(4)       An inspector may exercise any of the powers referred to in subsections (1) and (3) without a warrant if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but, by reason of exigent circumstances, it would not be practical to obtain a warrant.

Storage and removal of things seized

11(1)        A thing seized and detained under this Act may be stored by an inspector, or by any person designated by an inspector, in the place where it was seized or may, at the inspector's discretion, be removed to any other place for storage.

Sale of perishable products

11(2)       An inspector who seizes a perishable agricultural product under this Act may dispose of or destroy it, and any proceeds realized from its disposition, with interest to be paid at a rate fixed from time to time by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, must be held pending the outcome of the proceedings.

Disposal of products after proceedings

11(3)       When proceedings in respect of a seized agricultural product or thing have been finally resolved,

(a) if the accused has been convicted, the court may order the product or other thing, or the proceeds of sale and accumulated interest referred to in subsection (2), forfeited to the Crown; or

(b) if the court does not order forfeiture, the product or other thing, or the proceeds of sale and accumulated interest referred to in subsection (2), must be turned over or paid to the person who is lawfully entitled to possess it or them.

Disposal of forfeited products

11(4)       An agricultural product or other thing that has been ordered to be forfeited under clause (3)(a) must be disposed of as directed by the minister.

Recovery of fees, charges and costs

12(1)       The government and a certification body, or either of them, may recover from a person referred to in subsection (2) any prescribed fees or charges and any costs incurred by the government or the certification body in relation to anything required or authorized under this Act, including, but not limited to,

(a) the inspection, sampling, testing or analysis of a place, agricultural product or other thing, or the storage, removal, disposal or return of an agricultural product or other thing, required or authorized under this Act; and

(b) the forfeiture, disposal, seizure or detention of an agricultural product or other thing under this Act.

Persons liable

12(2)       The fees, charges and costs are recoverable jointly and severally from

(a) the owner or occupier of the place or the owner of the agricultural product or other thing; and

(b) the person having the possession, care or control of the place, product or thing immediately before its inspection, detention, forfeiture, sampling, testing, analysis, storage, removal, return or disposal or, in the case of an agricultural product or other thing seized under this Act, immediately before its seizure.

Unpaid fees, charges or costs

12(3)       Any fees, charges or costs that are recoverable by the government or a certification body may be recovered as a debt due.

SHARING INFORMATION

Sharing information

13(1)       For the purpose of administering and enforcing this Act, and to generate information — in non-identifying form — for statistical purposes, the minister, or a person who is employed in the administration of this Act and authorized by the minister,

(a) may require a certification body to provide; and

(b) may disclose to a certification body, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or other prescribed persons or government agencies;

information collected under this Act, including personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Information must be provided

13(2)       The certification body must provide the minister or person with the information required under subsection (1), in the form and at the time set by the minister or person.

Public registry

14          The minister or, if the minister has entered into an agreement with a certification body, the certification body must maintain a public registry, which may be in electronic form, of agricultural products, including multi-ingredient products, that have been certified as organic.

OFFENCES

Offence

15(1)       A person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction,

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $20,000., or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $50,000.

Prosecution within two years

15(2)       A prosecution under this Act may not be commenced later than two years after the day the alleged offence was committed.

Directors and officers of corporations

15(3)       When a corporation is guilty of an offence, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the offence is also guilty of the offence and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty for the offence provided for in this section.

Presumption about agricultural product

16          In a prosecution for an offence under this Act, a person found in possession of an agricultural product in a quantity greater than is ordinarily necessary for a person's own consumption shall be deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have been in possession of the product for the purpose of marketing it.

Evidence of identification

17          In a prosecution for an offence under this Act, proof that an agricultural product or its container bore a name and address purporting to be that of the person who prepared it is proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the agricultural product was prepared by the person or at the establishment whose name and address appeared on the agricultural product or container.

Certificate of analyst admissible

18          A certificate appearing to be signed by an analyst — or a copy or extract of the certificate certified by the analyst as a true copy or extract — stating that the analyst has analysed a sample of an agricultural product, and giving the results, is admissible in evidence in any proceeding as proof of the facts stated, unless the contrary is shown.  Proof of the analyst's appointment or signature is not required.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

19(1)       The minister may make regulations

(a) prescribing labels for organic products, including multi-ingredient products that contain organic products;

(b) governing the design, construction, hygiene, sanitation and maintenance of establishments where organic products are grown or produced;

(c) governing the procedures to be followed and the standards to be maintained in establishments for the preparation of organic products;

(d) providing for the inspection of establishments and the inspection, analysis, testing, grading and sampling of organic products;

(e) governing analyses related to pesticide residues and any other substance that is found on, in or near organic products;

(f) establishing grades and standards for organic products and establishing standards for containers;

(g) regulating or prohibiting the preparation of any organic product;

(h) providing for measures to be taken respecting organic products or other things that do not meet, or are suspected on reasonable grounds of not meeting, the requirements of this Act;

(i) providing for systems to ascertain the places of origin or destination of organic products;

(j) regulating or prohibiting the marketing of any organic product, and establishing terms and conditions governing that marketing;

(k) providing for the collection of market information and statistics, the publication of studies dealing with the marketing of organic products, and the conduct of surveys on any matter related to this Act;

(l) prescribing any fees or charges required for carrying out the purpose and provisions of this Act, and the interest that shall accrue on unpaid fees or charges;

(m) prescribing a product as an agricultural product for the purpose of the definition "agricultural product" in subsection 1(1);

(n) prescribing a term or terms for the purpose of section 2;

(o) prescribing persons and government agencies for the purpose of clause 13(1)(b)(information sharing);

(p) exempting or excluding a person or agricultural product or a class of either of them from the application of this Act or any part of it;

(q) respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out the purpose of this Act.

Incorporation by reference

19(2)       A regulation under subsection (1) may adopt by reference, with any changes the minister considers appropriate, all or part of a code, rule or standard made by a governmental authority or by any other body, and the code, rule or standard may be adopted as amended from time to time.

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

20          This Act may be referred to as chapter O77 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

21          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.