The organic food movement suffered a major setback recently, when the US National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted in favor of allowing hydroponically-grown products to receive the “organic” label. This decision should not have come as a surprise to those who have watched the organic movement steadily taken over by big agribusiness – a process that began in 1990 when Congress required the USDA to create a single set of national standards that would define the meaning of “organic”.
What Does “Organic” Mean?
- Organic regulations require that your crop rotation plan maintains or improves soil organic matter. Since hydroponics grow plants in a liquid medium, they do not qualify for organic certification
- The Organic Trade Association and the hydroponic lobby, led by the Coalition for Sustainable Organics, are seeking to rewrite organic rules to include hydroponics
- The Coalition for Sustainable Organics worked against the organic industry by supporting the DARK Act to pre-empt states’ rights to label GMOs