As mentioned in a previous post from Ray, Understanding Organic Food Labels, the Organic Certification of food products has been even further restricted than noted in that original article. It seems the Organic Certification label has been hijacked by the US government to “protect” the integrity of the seal by restricting it only to foods grown on a farm in actual soil. It is quite interesting, and alarming that it cannot be applied to any aquaponically grown foods as discussed in this post from the Aquaponic Source Auaponics: Certified Organic Without Soil?
This is a report about a letter sent to the Agency in charge of certification asking why soil-less gardening is not considered to be just as organic as any vegetable grown in soil. It seems to be the opinion that soil somehow magically makes a product organic, whereas its cousins, grown in carefully controlled circumstances completely protected from Monstanto’s fertilizers and pesticides, are not organic!
On December 17, 2012, Bevan Suits of Access to Aquaponics wrote to the National Organic Standards Board:
“My understanding is that the NOSB is leaning against allowing soil-less methods from being deemed organic, based on the assumption that the foundation of organic is in the soil. This concept is easily refuted by science. I represent a consortium of interested parties seeking to promote solid scientific discussion of this issue and show that what we call soil is just one medium to contain roots, water, air and bacteria.”
I tell you this, the idea that a carefully developed system that prevents insect infestations and must produce food under the strictest of safety limitations of keeping fish alive is not organic where a garden outside in the elements where anything can be blown onto it is more inherently organic, is absurd.
The concept of organic is to provide certification that a facility is producing food in a natural and safe way without harmful additives cannot be anchored in the soil only. I can see some argument that Hydroponics with its chemical salts and assorted compounds might be not be considered to be producing organic certifiable foods, but including Aquaponics vegetable production in the category is dangerous and will cause the systems and technology obstacles that will take time to overcome in the public’s mind – probably exactly what big Agriculture is very happy to promote