Author: Simi Summer, Ph.D. | Published: April 2, 2018
In response to the decision of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to certify hydroponic crops and sanction “taking the soil out of organics” (Many individuals consider this to be the demise of the organic standard) scientists, consumers, farmers and those concerned about protecting the future of organics, are taking a visionary approach. They see the future of organics in regenerative agriculture.
In September 2017, the Rodale Institute presented a draft for organic standards called a new third party Regenerative Organic (RO) Certification. Once finalized, the RO certification will reflect a standard far beyond USDA organic. This will be achieved by establishing higher standards for soil health, land management, animal welfare and fair labor/fair trade practices for farmers and workers. The RO label will appear on certified regenerative products, next to the USDA Organic label, signifying a standard which exceeds those set currently by the NOSB and the USDA.
A growing number of consumers have come to understand that non-organic, genetically engineered, industrially produced and chemically-laden food products and production methods are health hazardous. Unfortunately, degenerative agriculture produces effects which are the opposite of carbon sequestering practices. Such degenerative practices damage the environment, contaminate the air, pollute the world’s water supply and destabilize climate. And increasing levels of greenhouse gas pollution comes from degenerative food, farming and land use practices.