The federal Competition Bureau has started an inquiry into whether industry claims that vast stretches of Canadian forest are sustainably managed constitute false advertising.
The inquiry comes in response to a complaint filed by the environmental law group Ecojustice, acting on behalf of eight environmental groups.
Those groups allege that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which claims to set rigorous standards for industry, doesn’t do what companies claim it does.
The groups say the initiative still allows clear-cutting, spraying of toxic chemicals and logging in habitat for threatened species.
They add the initiative also fails to confirm best practices are being followed on the ground.
A spokesman for the initiative says the charges are based on misinformation and that inspections are conducted regularly.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is the largest environmental certification system in Canada, covering 140 million hectares of forest in Canada and the U.S.