USDA’s politically-driven decision to contradict direction from the Congressionally-mandated expert National Organic Standards Board to ban hydroponics from organic is arrogant and intolerable. The strength and incredible value of organic agriculture is DIRECTLY DUE to the unalterable fact that organic is a food production system inextricably linked to HEALTHY, FERTILE SOIL.
This article by Richard Jacob, founder of The ‘Localvore Institute’ adds valuable clarity to the discussion. Jim
“An online article from the Cornucopia Institute by Linley Dixon, Ph.D. — titled ‘Is Hydroponics Organic?’ — states as follows: ‘Hydroponics is a technology for growing terrestrial plants with their roots in nutrient solutions rather than soil. Hydroponic production is not mentioned in the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990; however, in 2010, the National Organic Standards Board formally recommended that hydroponic systems be prohibited from obtaining organic certification…’
“…Headlines the website of last February’s ‘Organic Authority’: ‘Is Hydroponic Food Organic? Organic Farmers Urge USDA to Say No.’ Revealingly, notes the article, ‘The United States is one of the few countries that allows hydroponics to be labeled organic. Mexico, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and 24 European countries (including Holland, England, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain) all prohibit hydroponic vegetable produce to be sold as organic in their own countries’…
“Especially when today’s consumers are paying a price premium for organic produce, let’s advocate that ‘in-soil’ organic stays the gold standard and that a watered-down hydroponic organic certification is not allowed.”