WHAT IS THE ISSUE?
The “Organic” label has been trusted to stand for clean, nutritious food grown sustainably. It is valuable to farmers and eaters. But big corporations have been working to change the definition so they can label their food “Organic” that isn’t really organic. They have succeeded in getting fruits and vegetables not grown in the soil — the foundation of organic agriculture — to be called organic.
The organic label has been watered down so much that it now can include hydroponically-grown produce: food grown not in soil but fed by artificial plastic feeding tubes with artificial lighting. Also, due to lack of regulatory oversight by the USDA’s National Organic Program, cows that are raised in CAFOS (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) for dairy production are allowed to be called organic. This is fraud.
Allowing hydroponics to exist under the same label as organic food robs consumers of their right to know how their food is grown – and hurts organic farmers. Hydroponics relies on growing practices often potentially using toxic materials like Styrofoam and plastic that contain harmful chemicals, flame-retardants and phthalates.
Additionally, the National Organic Program director recently told a roomful of organic farmers in her office in DC that there was nothing in the organic standards (after hydroponics was approved as production method in Nov. 2017) that disallowed herbicides, such as glyphosate, to be used in hydroponic/”container” systems! This is not what consumers have come to expect from organic.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
The organic farmers that have championed this effort to protect the integrity of organic farming and certification are listed here. This is by no means an exhaustive list as they are a solid community that grows food for consumers every single day. Please join us and stand behind them today!
Organic farmer for 37 years, Long Wind Farm, Vermont
David “Davey” Miskell
Organic farmer, Miskell’s Premium Organics, Vermont
Organic farmer, Lady Moon Farms, Chambersburg, PA
Lady Moon Farms, Chambersburg, PA
Eliot Coleman & Barbara Damrosch
Organic farmers and authors, Four Season Farm, Maine
Organic farmer for 41 years, President of Stone Barns, Distinguished Fellow at Leopold Center; Kirschenmann Family Farms, N. Dakota