In 2010 the NOSB (National Organic Standards Board) recommended to the NOP (National Organic Program) that soil-less vegetable production (crops grown hydroponically), NOT be certified as organic. The NOSB voted 12 to 1 to prohibit soilless production but three years later, the NOP continues to ALLOW hydroponic vegetable production to be certified as organic. Meanwhile, the NOP has not offered any guidance to certifying agencies on this matter, nor any explanation. Many certifying agencies in the US are now refusing to certify hydroponic operations as organic. Presently, the vast majority of the “hydroponic organic” produce sold in this country is grown in either Mexico, Canada, or Holland. All three of these countries prohibit hydroponically produced vegetables to be sold as organic in their own countries, and because there is no labeling to announce that these vegetables are hydroponically grown, consumers are left in the dark about the growing method. While the hydroponic method works well, it is NOT organic since it does not rely on the microbial activity of the soil to provide the biological diversity that is the basis of organic growing. The old adage for organic farming has always been, “Feed the soil, not the plant.” Hydroponic growing is based on the opposite belief, “Feed the plant, not the soil.” The NOP standard emphasizes that organic growing is based on caring for the soil and their refusal to prohibit soil-less growing goes against their own standard. Now is the time for us as organic growers and/or consumers to make our position clear to the National Organic Program. Click here to sign the petition to keep the soil in organic.
Dow Chemical, the same company that brought us Dursban, Napalm, and Agent Orange, is now in the food business and is pushing for an unprecedented government approval: genetically engineered (GE) versions of corn and soybeans that are designed to survive repeated dousing with 2,4-D, half of the highly toxic chemical mixture Agent Orange. Please send in your comments to the USDA if you do not like the idea of 2, 4-D and dicamba resistant corn and soybeans on millions of acres! 2, 4-D and dicamba are linked to increased rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other diseases among farmers and farm workers, and these are prone to drifting on the wind and can settle far from where applied. They’re extremely toxic to common fruit and vegetable crops. To learn more, click here. The comment period is open until February 24th. To make a comment today, click here.