Masters of Health Magazine August 2022 - Page 14

One aim of Organic 3.0 was to work with like-minded organizations and movements to make all agriculture more sustainable. The concept was to have organic agriculture as a positive lighthouse of change to improve the sustainability of mainstream agriculture systems.

 

The Hijacking of Organic Standards       

 

Another driver towards regeneration was widespread concerns about corporate agribusiness hijacking organic standards and production systems.

 

The neglect of the primacy of soil health and soil organic matter and allowing inappropriate plowing methods were raised as significant criticisms.

 

The organic pioneers started the concept of soil health. Jerome Rodale, who popularized the term 'Organic Farming' in the 1940s, used it specifically about farming systems that improved soil health by recycling and increasing soil organic matter. Consequently, most organic standards start with this; however, certifiers rarely check this these days. The introduction of certified organic hydroponics was seen by many as the ultimate sell-out and loss of credibility for certified organic systems.

 

Major concerns and criticisms about hijacking certified organic by industrial agriculture were raised by allies in the agroecology and holistic management movements. These included large-scale, industrial, organic monocultures, and organic Confined Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs). These CAFOs go against the essential principles found in most organic standards of no cruelty and the need to allow animals to express their behaviors naturally. The use of synthetic supplements in certified organic CAFOs was seen as undermining the very basis of the credibility of certified organic systems.