The organization has decided on a way to regulate such terminology — it considers it necessary to equate the first two concepts to organic products that are produced without chemical components, and to define the third designation and prescribe special requirements. This was reported to "Izvestia" in a press-service of Roskachestvo, noting that as a result, manufacturers of such products will have to confirm their natural composition. Now the use of such names is not regulated, and manufacturers can print this marking on any product. The Ministry of agriculture admitted that currently the use of such terminology is only a marketing ploy. The Department admitted that in the future, "bio" and “eco” products from Europe can be equated to organic goods.
As it was said to "Izvestia" in Rokachestvo, now there are no terms as "eco", "bio" (bio) and the "farm" in the Russian legislation. Requirements for such goods also do not exist yet. This means that the manufacturer does not have to provide any supporting documentation about the presence of the properties of the goods assigned to these concepts. For example, there is no need to guarantee that the products are natural and have been produced without pesticides or other chemicals.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the technical regulation on labeling in the territory of the EAEU provides: manufacturers must specify information on the properties of food products on the goods. Moreover, they are obliged to confirm these properties, but the regulations do not specify what specific documents are in question.
In Roskachestvo they also noted that consumers is used to associating such marks with natural origin of products. And since there is no regulation yet, these names become a convenient way to mislead buyers. At the same time, goods with such markings can be no different from ordinary ones, although they cost more.
In March, Roskachestvo outlined the problem with the lack of regulation for conventionally organic products in a letter to the Rospotrebnadzor (is available at "Izvestia"). Now the organization has specified its proposals. In particular, it believes it is right to follow the principles established in the European Union. For example, consider the names "eco", "bio" ("bio") identical to organic products that are produced without chemical components. Also Roskachestvo told "Izvestia" that it is necessary to give the definition of "farm product" and introduce the requirements for these goods, and then the order of confirmation of such statements by the manufacturers on the label.
Changes regarding the markings "eco" and "bio" should be enshrined in the law on organic products and state standards (GOST) should be created for them, the concept of "farm product" has to be reflected in the technical regulations on labeling, believe in the organization.
The proposals of the organization meet the objectives of the Strategy to improve the quality of food products in the Russian Federation until 2030, although in terms of the implementation of this document such steps are not provided, said Deputy Head of the Federal state supervision department in the field of consumer protection of the Rospotrebnadzor Andrey Puchkovsky to "Izvestia". According to him, the circulation of goods, including their labeling, is based on the principles of conscientiousness. This also applies to indications of consumer properties of products, which should not mislead the consumer.
The use of marking "bio" and "eco" on product packaging is marketing techniques of manufacturers, said in the press service of the Ministry of agriculture to “Izvestia”. The law on organic products, which came into force in 2018, does not apply to such goods and does not impose restrictions on these designations. Although the Ministry noted: after signing an agreement on mutual recognition of terminology, for example, with the European Union, the Russian standard on organic products will be supplemented. For example, in terms of compliance of the terms "eco" and "bio", which are applied to products from European countries with the Russian definition of "organic".
According to the law on organic production, since January 1, 2020, the certification companies (they have not yet identified) authorized by the Federal accreditation service will have to certify producers. For example, if we are talking about plant products, on the farms there will be checked every step -from the quality of the land and ending with the properties of the crop. Only after passing the certification, the company will be included in the unified register, which will give it the right to use the "organic" marking on its products. The entire chain of production and control of organic products will be unified, transparent and controlled, which will significantly increase consumer confidence in such goods, said the Ministry of agriculture.
The Chairman of the Board of the Association of manufacturers and suppliers “Rusprodsoyuz” Dmitry Leonov supports the proposal of Roskachestvo. Unlike the term "organic" and its derivatives, law does not yet define the terms «eco» and «bio» and their use is not controlled by the state. This creates a loophole for dishonest players, he said. The expert believes that if the authorities equalize the terms "eco", "bio" and "organic", the first two should be banned, since our country has already chosen a single term for such products — "organic".
Other States do not use for their producers the terms "eco", "bio", "organic" at the same time, said the Executive Director of the National Organic Union Oleg Mironenko. Each country chooses a designation, after which documents on mutual recognition of the terminology and the certification process are signed with other countries. In his opinion, it would be logical in Russia to stop at one designation for domestic products, but to allow foreign goods to have a different marking.