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US (HI): Growers, Department of Health debate over aquaponics safety

There's a growing debate between farmers and the Department of Health over just how safe aquaponics really are. Some farmers feel their businesses are being threatened, but it all comes down to a decades old law that the Department of Health admits could be outdated.

"There are no specific laws on aquaponics. What we have is a rule that's in our sanitation rules that basically states that when you grow vegetables that are normally eaten raw you cannot sell them or market them if they're subjected to contamination from animal waste or actual animal waters," said Peter Oshiro, Environmental Health Program Manager, DOH.

A farmer who wants to remain anonymous, says this law does not make sense because all water from streams or other natural sources have fish waste in it. Plus, all soil has some type of animal waste in it, whether its from worms, birds or something else.

"We're open to any type of new technology that arises. The first people we're going to have to talk to is the aquaponics farmers. And what we're going to ask them is if they have any science to show us if what they're doing is safe and the recirculating waters is free from pathogens," said Oshiro.

Read more at KITV (Avijah Scarbrough)

Publication date: 2/28/2018



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