The Minister for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent, has welcomed new provisions aimed at rogue traders who pass off food as organic that does not meet the legal requirements.

The Minister for Agriculture has amended rules on organic farming.

Mr Sargent said producers and processors contravening the new organic regulations now face fines of up to €5,000 or a term of imprisonment.

Mr Sargent said Department officials will be able to seize produce, vehicles, and other items and to serve fixed penalty and compliance notices on non-compliant operators.

Deputy Sargent said consumer confidence is vital to the development of the organic sector in Ireland.

He said he wants to be able to assure shoppers that they are getting what they are paying for.

Minister Sargent urged consumers who know of traders passing off conventional food as organic to contact his Department.