Aquaculture for all

'Organic' Fish Label Approved by Advisory Panel

US - The US has introduced Organic labelling for fish reared by aquaculture, but critics are asking how they can be labelled organic when they are fed on a non-organic diet.

According to ScientificAmerican, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advisory panel says that producers should be allowed to slap organic labels on farmed fish even if their diets include wild fish and other feed that isnt organic itself definitions that environmentalists say depart from the criteria for other certified organic animal food products.

The labeling criteria, approved yesterday by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), an advisory panel to the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, allows up to a quarter of farmed fish feed to consist of wild fish, though not from endangered species. "There's no time table," for when the agency will take up the recommendations, Joan Shaffer, a spokeswoman for the service, told today. "We'll review it as soon as we can."

"Finally, maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of defining what's organic," Wally Stevens, executive director of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, told the Washington Post. "The challenge is to figure out how we can produce a healthy protein product with a proper regard to where the feed comes from."