In a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, organic farmers have formally requested that an immediate moratorium be declared on the organic certification of all new hydroponic and aquaponics operations.
The issue has become increasingly controversial as some organic certification agents are approving these soilless growing systems, despite a 2010 recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board to prohibit this production practice for vegetables.
The National Organic Program has allowed the certification of hydroponic and aquaponics operations. In response to mounting pressure, the NOP recently established a task force to further study the matter.
You can read the letter from farmers to Secretary Vilsack here. Cornucopia has also released a White Paper discussing aquaponic and hydroponic production. Farmers advocating for keeping soil in organic production have established a petition, they urge all who care about organics to sign the petition calling for a moratorium.