Industrial Hydroponics Poised to Take Over

Testify at Florida NOSB meeting/attend farmer rally

The semi-annual National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting begins October 31 in Jacksonville, Florida, with a focus on the controversy swirling around hydroponics and organics.  At issue is the rise of soil-less hydroponic production, much of it imported and on a gargantuan industrial scale. The USDA has been allowing these operations to claim certified organic status despite their reliance on liquid fertilization and lacking any relation to soil fertility building.

USDA Secretary Perdue tours a hydroponic farm
Source: USDA

You can speak up for true organics by testifying at the meeting.  But you need to sign up now to ensure access to one of the limited speaking slotsYou can send written comments to the NOSB as well.

You can also sign up to testify over the phone. Although a greater investment in time and money, being there in person wields tremendous power. The NOSB greatly respects the testimony of real farmers.

In addition, a lunchtime rally for soil-based organic agriculture is planned for Tuesday, October 31 in Jacksonville to put pressure on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to uphold organic integrity.  The rally is supported by leading organic farmers, consumers, and good food activists.

At this point, pioneering organic farmers and other national leaders, including Eliot Coleman, Jim Riddle, Dave Chapman, Jim Gerritsen, Fred Kirschenmann, David Zuckerman, Maddie Monty, Tom Beddard, Cornucopia staff member Linley Dixon, and Cornucopia Policy Advisory Panel member Anaïs Beddard are set to speak during the public event.

The NOSB has been debating for the past several meetings how to address hydroponics.  Powerful economic interests are backing the inclusion of hydroponics as organic, even though much of the world has rejected the soil-less approach as organic.  In the U.S., domestic, hydroponic produce is squeezing out long-time organic farmers from retail fruit and vegetable markets.

We need more farmers and their urban allies to show up and let the NOSB members see you looking them right in the eye during the meeting as they vote on the economic fate of real organic farmers.  Some financial assistance for travel/lodging may be available to farmers who would like to attend.  Contact us for further details.

The debate over hydroponics cuts to the heart of organic values.  Let’s fight to keep organic, organic!  Make your voice heard in Jacksonville!

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