What organic leaders are saying about hydroponics in organics:

“This debate is the most significant battle that has ever occurred in the National Organic Program.”

– NOSB Member

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“We are in danger of losing 50 years of hard fought gains in the healthy soil movement. Organic has always meant grown in the soil. We refuse to let the promise of organic agriculture be compromised by profiteers. We have won before and we will win again.”

– Eliot Coleman, Agrarian Elder and owner of Four Season Farm

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“The hydroponic invasion started as a tiny exception here and there years ago, now it has become the dominant form of production for certified “organic” tomatoes and berries in the US.  What began as a minor trickle has become a major flood, as the hydroponic greenhouse producers of the world have discovered that the USDA will allow them entry into the coveted organic market.”


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“This is not so much about complaining about hydroponics. This is about reasserting the absolutely important value of what REAL organic means. What it means to our health, what it means to our soil, and what it means to our future. I’m not against hydroponic, but I am against freeloading. They want to get the benefit of the hard work that organic farmers do and take some of that market share with a label that wasn’t earned. Experts say the explosive growth in hydroponic imports may force some organic farmers out of business in as little as five years.”

– Congressman Peter Welch (VT-AL)

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“The more that I learned serving on the USDA Task Force, the worse it got. Who knew that over 1000 acres of Driscoll’s ‘organic’ berries were actually hydroponic? None of us knew. By changing the fertilizer brew in their mixing tanks to ‘natural’ (but highly processed) soluble fertilizers, and then switching to ‘approved’ pesticides, the hydroponic producers can miraculously become ‘organic’ overnight.”

– Dave Chapman, Hydroponic Task Force member and owner of Long Wind Farm

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“Organic pioneers such as Albert Howard, Eve Balfour, Rodale, and Albrecht all wrote about soil as the basis for organic farming. We have a right to the word organic….It’s such a bizarre concept that you can take what we call ‘amendments’ and make it the whole system.”

– Jake Guest, Agrarian Elder and owner of Killdeer Farm

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“Renewing the soil without pesticides or chemical fertilizers is also one of the few solutions to global warning. Regeneration is trying to take emissions that have already been produced and put them back in the soil. Our soils are our single biggest sink for carbon so that we can actually fix climate change by taking all those greenhouse gasses and putting them back in our soils, and we know we can do that with organic farming.”

– Will Allen, owner of Cedar Circle Farm

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“Organic without soil is like democracy without people.”

– David Zuckerman, organic farmer and Lieutenant Governor of Vermont