Canadian Agriculture and Food Law.

Agriculture Pic.

This area of the law deals with all aspects of agriculture, including various boards, that control production and marketing such as:

wheat boards;

milk boards;

etc.

Agriculture and Food Law Summary - by Prof. Don Buckingham, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. October 2004.

Agriculture and food law in Canada covers a vast array of legal issues that impacts every Canadian. It includes laws enacted at both the federal and the provincial levels and affects every stage of agriculture and food production from animal breeding and seed development right through to the labelling of processed food in supermarkets.

Agriculture law, as opposed to food law, usually refers to the public and private aspects of legal regulation that affect the production and marketing of agricultural products. Farm property law, animal pedigree and animal health laws, and laws affecting the development and sale of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, crop protection products and farm implements fall squarely within the notion of agricultural law.

The law governing the formation and execution of contracts for the sale of farm products, laws regulating the right to produce and market agricultural produce and the laws establishing marketing boards, standards and grades affect how farmers, marketers and processors conduct their affairs.

Finally agricultural law also touches other aspects of the financing of agricultural operations. Special provisions exist with general federal and provincial laws that have specific application to agricultural operations, such as exist in the Income Tax Act, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Bank Act and countless other federal and provincial laws. Finally, several laws exist that apply only to agriculture, such as those that entitle agricultural producers to financial compensation as well as laws that impose special obligations on agricultural operations for environmental or commercial reasons.

Food law, on the other hand, focuses on more than just agricultural producers. Other groups like consumers, retailers, processors, even packagers and labellers of food products are affected by Canadian food law. The Food and Drugs Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Meat Inspection Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act, to name but a few, provide a rich regulatory tapestry of standards and inspection
rules that protect consumers from false, misleading and dangerous food. Common law tort liability for injury caused by defective food products can also be included as part of the law that sets out the food law rules in Canadian law.

A basic text setting out food and agriculture law in Canada is Fuller and Buckingham, Agriculture Law in Canada (Toronto: Butterworth, 1999).

This summary was provided by Prof. Don Buckingham, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa; Senior Legal Consultant, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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