Food grown without mud is not organic, says US farmers’ lawsuit

Mary P. Humphrey

Food activists and farmers sued the Trump administration about its final decision to let hydroponic operators use the prized ‘organic’ label. The Centre for Food Safety and farmers from Maine to California say in the lawsuit that the final decision “undermines the extremely integrity” of the country’s natural and organic […]

Food activists and farmers sued the Trump administration about its final decision to let hydroponic operators use the prized ‘organic’ label.

The Centre for Food Safety and farmers from Maine to California say in the lawsuit that the final decision “undermines the extremely integrity” of the country’s natural and organic food stuff label – “that people have faith in and that natural and organic farmers rely on.”

Hydroponic operations grow plants that have their roots in water or air and get vitamins and minerals from methods produced by the operators. Under federal guidelines, natural and organic crops – aside from becoming developed devoid of pesticides and other damaging chemical compounds – have to foster “soil fertility,” in accordance to the lawsuit submitted on Monday in US District Court docket in San Francisco.

But how can you foster soil fertility devoid of soil, the farmers requested.

They want a choose to declare that the hydroponic operations really don’t meet up with the soil fertility mandate and to get the US Office of Agriculture to comply with the specifications for natural and organic certification.

The USDA had issued a statement saying certification of hydroponic operations is allowed, and has been because the programme began, in accordance to the lawsuit.

“USDA made available no supporting rationale for its statement,” the farmers explained. “USDA produced the statement in a web page announcement, devoid of any prospect for community input.”

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