Donald Trump’s government has been sued by farmers and food activists in US for letting hydroponic operators use the prized ‘organic’ label.
Hydroponic operations actually grow plants with their roots in air or water and get nutrients from solutions created by the operators. These do not require soil to cultivate. Instead, it uses perlite and rock-wool as a growing medium.
The Centre for Food Safety and few farmers from Maine to California claimed in the lawsuit that the decision ‘undermines the very integrity of the nation’s organic food label, “that customers trust & that organic farmers rely upon.
As per the lawsuit filed earlier this week, organic crops should also promote soil fertility besides being grown chemical-free.
‘But, farmers asked as to how you can foster soil fertility without soil.’
Farmers want a judge to announce that the hydroponic operations do not meet the soil fertility mandate. They want the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be ordered to adhere with the requirements for Organic certification.
However, according to the lawsuit, the USDA had issued a statement stating that the certification of hydroponic operations is allowed & has been since the programme started.
The farmers, however, believed that the USDA didn’t offer any supporting rationale for its statement by making the announcement through a website , which doesn’t allow any public inputs!