A lawsuit has been taken out by food activists and farmers in the US against the country’s government over its decision to allow hydroponic operators use the “organic” label. The Center for Food Safety and Farmers from Maine to California state that this decision undermines the integrity” of the country’s organic food label that consumers trust and that organic farmers rely upon.
Until now, federal regulations require organic crops to be grown without pesticides or other harmful chemicals and must also foster “soil fertility”. The claimants argue that as hydroponic plants are grown with their roots in water or air and receive nutrients from solutions created by the operators, they therefore do not foster soil fertility.
A USDA statement supports the use of hydroponic operations.