Some Farmers Upset Hydroponic Crops Carry Organic Label

Oct 26, 2015

Some organic farmers are upset that some crops raised without soil in hydroponic greenhouses can carry the label organic.

About 50 protested Monday at a meeting in Stowe of the National Organics Standards Board. The protesters urged the board to recommend that hydroponic crops not carry the label.

Vermont organic tomato farmer Dave Chapman says he doesn't object to hydroponic farming, only that it is allowed to be considered organic. He says organic should be reserved for crops raised in soil.

But Philip LaRocca, an organic grape and wine producer from California who grows his crops in soil, says he thinks as long as hydroponic crops meet other organic standards the label should be allowed.

A task force of farmers will study the issue.

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