Glyphosate in Organic Hydroponics
'Faux-ganic' Hydroponic Food Production
"With No Soil to Certify, They Can Contaminate the Earth and Sell Faux-ganic Produce to Unsuspecting Consumers" ~ cornupocia.org
“Organic” hydroponic production is a form of factory farming: the ground is levelled, compacted, and often covered with plastic, while plant roots bathe in synthetic nutrients or are supported by sterile substrates like gravel or coconut coir. The rows and rows of identical indoor plants resemble the worst of livestock production where hens are crammed into battery cages or cattle are packed into barren feed lots—all unable to touch real soil or live natural lives.'
In his long e-mail addressing the situation, Dave Chapman, Executive Director of Real Organic Project, explains how faux-ganic produce is being sold to unsuspecting consumers.
“I have been hearing for months that glyphosate is being sprayed on fields about to be certified organic for hydroponic berry production. The way this use of herbicide is incorporated into “organic” certification is to laser level a field, compact it until it is like a parking lot, wait a little while until the weeds (that slows follow disturbed soil) have germinated. And then spray it with an herbicide..." ~ Dave Chapman.
...Obviously if glyphosate 'Roundup' has been sprayed on land surrounding hydroponic crops, evaporation in a hot greenhouse or polytunnel is going to allow those chemicals to circulate around the crops. Particles would surely accumulate in the air regardless.
Cornucopia.org brings to light Real Organic Project concerns 2019
The argument is such...
"The Real Organic Project has brought to light an even more shocking practice in large-scale, “organic” hydroponic production. Glyphosate—the particularly toxic herbicide that is absolutely prohibited on organic farms—is sprayed on fields just prior to constructing hydroponic greenhouses awaiting organic certification. This is done to remove aggressive weeds from the greenhouses."
"The National Organic Program (NOP) continues to assert that hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic production is allowed, although these practices appear incompatible with the precepts and even the regulatory basis for organic production. The NOP’s argument in this case seems to be that because the glyphosate does not “touch” the plants being certified, it is all above board—or at least legally defensible."
"Cornucopia disagrees. Glyphosate is insidious and can cause contamination in non-target plants via airborne drift and other routes of exposure. In addition, research shows that glyphosate is strongly bound up in soils, and residues pose a risk to subsequent crops. But hydroponic producers seem to have a special license to do many things that are incompatible with organic principles."
Update 2020- civileats.com https://civileats.com/2019/04/23/can-hydroponic-farmers-spray-glyphosate-just-before-becoming-organic/
(Update: On March 3, 2020, the Center for Food Safety and a coalition of farmer plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging the USDA’s decision to allow hydroponic operations to earn USDA Organic certification.)