CFS Appeals Organic Eligibility of Hydroponics

  • As beforehand reported, after disagreement with the Nationwide Organic Requirements Board concerning the power of hydroponic methods to bear the natural label, the U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) issued an announcement in 2018 reaffirming its coverage that hydroponic operations could make natural claims in the event that they show compliance with federal natural guidelines. This choice prompted the Heart for Meals Security (CFS) and others to file a petition calling for the Company to reverse course, arguing that hydroponic operations can’t be licensed as natural as a result of they don’t foster soil fertility and enhance the natural matter content material of the soil as required beneath the Organic Meals Manufacturing Act (OFPA).

  • USDA denied the petition in 2019, arguing that the soil fertility necessities cited by the petitioners solely apply to manufacturing methods that use soil.  In response, CFS and stakeholders filed a lawsuit difficult the Company’s petition denial. On March 18, 2021, the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of California granted USDA’s movement for abstract judgement and located that USDA didn’t err in deciding that the OFPA doesn’t prohibit hydroponic methods from qualifying for the Nationwide Organic Program.

  • On October 4, 2021, CFS and stakeholders filed a brief with the Ninth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals, in search of reversal of the district court docket’s ruling. In its conclusion, the transient argues that, “The district court rubberstamped an unlawful loophole in organic crop production deeply undermining its integrity. Left standing, the decision creates not only a slippery slope towards inconsistent organic standards, but a dangerous administrative law precedent.”  The transient highlights the environmental advantages of farming with soil, versus hydroponic methods that “simply cannot ‘foster soil fertility.’”

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