Frequently Asked Questions About Product Review for OMRI Canada

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About OMRI Canada

Does the Canada Organic Office recognize OMRI's decisions about materials?

In accordance with a recent memo from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Certifying Bodies (CBs) that certify products to the Canada Organic Regime (COR) standards may choose to accept OMRI's determinations.  They may also consult with OMRI in order to obtain the technical guidance necessary to review input products for compliance.  Read the full CFIA memo: Input Verifcation under the Canada Organic Regime. The COO is allowing Canadian CBs to choose whether they will accept OMRI's material review determinations, and most accept an OMRI certificate for products reviewed to the COR standards. However, please check with your CB before using a new product in your certified organic operation.

Is my pesticide product required to be registered with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)?

You will be asked to submit your Pest Control Products (PCP) registration number at the time of your application. Pesticide products not registered with the PMRA can be reviewed by OMRI, but will include the annotation "not registered as a pesticide in Canada" in our OMRI Canada Products List.

Is OMRI accredited under ISO 17065 to review input products to COR standards?

Yes, OMRI is ISO 17065 accredited by the USDA Quality Assessment Division (QAD) for input product review and listing under National Organic Program and Canada Organic Regime standards. See OMRI's ISO 17065 certificate.  

Are genetially modified organisms allowed for use in Canadian organic production?

According to CAN/CGSB 32.310, materials that result from genetic engineering are not compatible with organic production.  With the exception of vaccines, which may be grown on genetically modified substrate, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not permitted in products that are being reviewed to COR standards.  All applicants to OMRI must declare in their application materials whether their final product or any ingredients are the product of genetic engineering.  For specific high risk crops, such as corn, a review team member may request a declaration of genetic engineering status from the manufacturer.

How does OMRI review products for Canada?

Manufacturers submit an application with information about all ingredients and manufacturing processes, as well as additional information specific to the product Use Class and Category. The review process is conducted in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requirements for certification organizations.  OMRI has established a Canadian Review Panel comprised of experts in the Canadian organic community to make final decisions regarding products for use in Canada. The OMRI Policy Manual and OMRI Canada Standards Manual© provide a complete overview of the review process and are available by request or as part of the Application Kit order.

What is the cost of applying for OMRI Canada Review?

If your product is not currently OMRI Listed, you will need to pay for a full product review, as detailed on OMRI’s Review Cost page.  New suppliers will also need to submit a supplier fee with their application materials.

What is the difference between the OMRI Canada Products List and the OMRI Permitted Substances Categories?

The OMRI Canada Products List consists of individual brand name products that have been reviewed by OMRI and confirmed to be compliant with the Canadian Organic Regime Standards.

The OMRI Permitted Substances Categories describes different generic substances, such as mined and synthetic micronutrients, comply with the Canada Organic Regime Standards and the permitted substances lists at CAN/CGSB 32.311.

Brand name products on the OMRI Canada Products List are listed with a specific use Class and Category corresponding to the Permitted Substances Categories for Canada.

Will the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) allow the OMRI Listed seal on pesticide products in Canada?

Currently, the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) does not allow the OMRI seal on pesticide products sold in Canada. However, PMRA recently published a draft revision to the directive governing this issue that, if passed, would allow the OMRI seal on packaging. Specifically, the draft directive states that certain pest control products can be used in organic production, and that “…in the event that reliable assessment has confirmed, as part of the registration process, that a pest control product contains only active ingredients acceptable for organic production systems under the Canada Organic Regime…” then specific labeling language may be used. However, all OMRI Listed products will be available to the public via the OMRI Canada Products List.  Please see the OMRI Canada page for a link to the most up-to-date list.  Please check back for updates on pesticide labeling.