The Aquaponics Association signed onto a “Friend of the Court” Amicus Brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold last year’s decision to allow for USDA Organic certification of soil-less crop production systems, including aquaponics.
The Amicus Brief was spearheaded by the Coalition for Sustainable Organics (CSO). Other signers of the Amicus Brief are the Western Growers Association, the International Fresh Produce Association, the Mulch & Soil Council, and The Scotts Company, LLC.
Lee Frankel, Executive Director of CSO, stated, “Our membership works hard every day to make organics more accessible to more consumers, while upholding the principle of continuous improvement to make organic production more environmentally sustainable.”
The original court case stems from the Center for Food Safety suing the Secretary of the USDA in 2020 for allowing the organic certification of soil-less crop production. Federal Judge Richard Seeborg of the Ninth Circuit dismissed the case, stating “none of the provisions you point me to reflect some notion that [the Organic Foods Production Act] is intended to exclude other forms of production.”
The Aquaponics Association published an Organic Sign-On Letter with over 200 signatures arguing that aquaponics must remain eligible for organic certification.
The Aquaponics Association continues to argue that aquaponics produce aligns with what consumers expect when they purchase Organic, production that: 1) is free from harmful pesticides; 2) is environmentally sustainable; and 3) relies on natural ecosystems for plant growth.
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