I produce organic sunflower sprouts. They are grown in a soil mix in trays in a greenhouse. The "sprouts" are cut from the soil and not sold with the seed still intact. I know that the NOP regulation requires organic seeds for the production of “edible sprouts.” Do I have to use organic sunflower seeds to produce sunflower sprouts, since they are grown in soil and the sprouts are cut from the seed?

Organic Agriculture October 27, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Organic seeds are required for all organic growers, if the seeds are commercially available in organic form. Organic sunflower seeds are commercially available, so you need to use organic sunflower seeds to produce your organic sprouts, regardless of whether the sprouts are grown in a soil mix or if they are cut from the seed. In addition, according to section 205.204(a)(1), organic seeds MUST be used to produce “edible sprouts.” There is no distinction made for the growing method or medium for the sprouts. If the product is edible sprouts, the seeds must be organic.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.