Keep Organics Rooted in Nutritious Soil

March 22nd, 2017

[The comment period for this issue is now closed.]

Comment to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) by March 30

When food grown without soil (hydroponic) is allowed to carry the organic label, the environmental and health benefits that underpin organic farming are lost, and legitimate, soil-based farmers who steward the land are unfairly undercut by this cheaper/industrialized growing method.

You can do something about this …
      … to protect real organic farmers and nutritionally superior food!

Hydroponic Pepper Operation
(c) Dario Sabljak/Adobe Stock

In 2010 the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted to prohibit hydroponics in organics.  Seven years later, the USDA has still not acted on this recommendation, turning a blind eye to the illegal organic certification of industrial-scale soil-less growers (both domestic and major importers).

Meanwhile, opposition to industrial organic hydroponic and “container” operations is growing. Organic farmers have organized and rallied to “keep the soil in organic.” Consumers are demanding nutrient dense food grown in soils high in organic matter.

Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch, have called for a moratorium on new hydroponic organic certification.  A letter signed by 45 organizations representing over two million members also called for a moratorium. The National Organic Program still has not responded.

Please join the resistance by telling the USDA to keep the soil in organics!

Post your comments online today — deadline March 30

  1. Go to the comment form at regulations.gov: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=AMS-NOP-16-0100-0001
  2. Either write directly in the window provided, cut and paste your comments into the provided space, or attach a word document. Sample bullet points which you can customize, paste, and copy into this USDA website can be found here.
  3. You can submit comments online until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on March 30, 2017 at the above link.
  4. If you are an organic vegetable producer,or involved in the organic industry, please be sure to mention that! Comments from organic consumers are vitally important as well, especially if you tell regulators why you care.

Please tell the USDA that you support The Cornucopia Institute’s comprehensive comments to protect the interest of family-scale farmers and consumers who want authentic organic food, grown in soil.

The following are the major concerns of Cornucopia’s scientists and researchers:

  • The law prohibits hydroponic production! The Organic Food Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) requires maintaining and improving soil fertility as the foundation of organic agriculture.
  • The 2010 NOSB recommendations to prohibit hydroponics in organics are consistent with OFPA and international standards.
  • Farmers that increase soil organic matter and fertility are placed at an economic disadvantage to hydroponic container growers that continuously fertilize with liquid nutrients.

Post your comments today – due in Washington by March 30

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