June 24, 2024


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Public Oral Argument in Appeal Challenging Court Decision Authorizing Labeling of Soil-less Hydroponic Operations as Organic

Media Advisory: Community Oral Argument in Charm Challenging Court docket Decision Authorizing Labeling of Soil-less Hydroponic Functions as Organic and natural

SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, July 27, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will listen to arguments in Center for Food items Safety’s (CFS) ongoing attraction difficult a district court docket ruling that approved the U.S. Office of Agriculture (USDA) to proceed certifying soil-a lot less hydroponic operations as natural under the Organic label. 

Hydroponic functions, or “hydroponics,” refers to techniques of growing crops applying drinking water-based nutrient options devoid of any soil. CFS’s attractiveness cites the federal Natural Foodstuff Output Act (the Organic and natural Act), which requires crop farmers to create soil fertility in purchase to be licensed natural and organic. The attractiveness difficulties the decrease court’s ruling that USDA was totally free to exempt hydroponic crop producers from the required duty to create balanced soils. 

The appellants in the scenario are some of the longest-standing natural and organic farms in the U.S., including Swanton Berry Farm, Entire Stomach Farm, Durst Natural and organic Growers, Jacobs Farm del Cabo, and Extended Wind Farm, in addition to organic stakeholder organizations, such as organic and natural certifier OneCert, the Maine Natural Farmers and Gardeners Association, and Heart for Food stuff Protection.   

WHAT: Public oral argument in Centre for Food stuff Safety’s attractiveness challenging district court conclusion authorizing labeling of soil-less hydroponic operations as organic and natural 

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, at 9:00 AM PT

(CFS’s oral arguments will most possible get started among 10-11 am PT) 

HOW TO Be a part of: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/reside-oral-arguments/ 



CFS originally filed a petition requesting USDA to prohibit natural certification of hydroponic operations that do not work with or construct soil in 2019. USDA denied the petition in June of 2019, stating in the denial for the 1st time that in its check out, hydroponic operations are exempt from the necessary soil fertility need of the Organic Act that used to all other natural and organic crop producers.   

CFS, alongside with a coalition of natural farms and stakeholders, filed the lawsuit hard USDA’s final decision to make it possible for hydroponic functions to keep on to be licensed natural in March 2020. In March 2021, the district courtroom sided with the federal government, ruling that USDA’s decision to exempt hydroponic operations from the required soil fertility prerequisite was permissible since the Natural Act did not exclusively prohibit hydroponic operations. CFS and allies introduced the charm in May perhaps 2021.