USDA keeps hydroponics out of organic growing

According to Michigan Farm Bureau, by Paul W. Jackson: In a move that may further divide the organic industry, the USDA has gone against a recommendation from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and continued its prohibition of hydroponic and aquaponic production as a certifiable organic growing technique.

By a recent 8-7 vote, the NOSB recommended that hydroponic and aquaponic growing techniques should not be prohibited from the USDA’s National Organic Program.

However, the board, which advises the USDA regarding organic operations, said no to aeroponics, which is a method whereby plants are suspended above sprays of water and nutrients.

Fourteen board members voted against organic certification for aeroponics. One member of the board abstained from the aeroponics vote.

The most outspoken groups against hydroponics include the Cornucopia Institute and the Organic Consumers Association, who have steadfastly opposed certification of non-soil operations.

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