The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), voted not to prohibit hydroponic and aquaponic farms from being eligible for USDA Organic certification.
In response to this crucial decision, Marianne Cufone, executive director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition, issued the following statement:
"We're very pleased that the NOSB made the right decision by voting not to prohibit hydroponic and aquaponic farms from USDA Organic certification. Many products from these farms already carry a USDA Organic label and to now withdraw that would be irresponsible and confusing for consumers and farmers.
"By siding with current science and recognizing that existing law purposely leaves the door open for various farming methods, the NOSB is sending a critical message that sustainability and innovation are valuable in U.S. agriculture. These goals are at the center of the nationwide local food movement and spur growth of urban and rural farms alike, by a wide range of people. Inclusiveness is important in our food system.
"The Board did vote to prohibit use of aeroponics in USDA Organic production and indicated they would discuss what type of label hydroponic and aquaponic USDA Organic certified products would display. We will be very involved as these issues move forward."
Photo courtesy of Aqua Mechanical