Bill passed to address inconsistent labelling of organic products

Photo - Finbar O'Mallon
Photo – Finbar O’Mallon

The Highview Bill “The Promotion of Organic Agriculture” was successfully passed in the Legislative Assembly this morning.

The passionate Highview College students recognised the current lack of regulations in the labelling of organic products.

Laurel Fry-McBean from the Highview College Team opened the debate, noting that there are currently “massive flaws” in organic agricultural industry, and called for a legal definition of the word ‘organic’ in the rapidly expanding industry.

Fellow team member, Caitlin Bundy spoke of the inconsistency in standards across the seven different organic certifiers in Australia.

Whilst Brooke Carron noted the benefits of organic farming for the Victorian economy and environment.

“We need standards that go from the paddock to the plate,” team member, Daniel Chapman said.

However refuting Castlemain team member, Nicholas West, questioned the legitimacy of the government subsidies in decreasing the cost of organic products.

“The difference in organic and non-organic is negligible because it is so small,” he said.

As the debate heated up between the Government and the opposition, both Matilda Bell-Willcock and Hoppers Crossing member, John Moffat agreed that any business that didn’t stock the particular organic products would suffer if the legislation were passed.

Imogen Colton from Hoppers Crossing reminded those in the Lower Assembly, “Australia is a free market, which should not be promoting some businesses over others”.

The Bill was passed with amendments.

by Hannah Andrews