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Opinion Split over Organic Food - 7th Jan 2007

The agricultural industry in Britain is split over claims that there is no conclusive evidence that proves organic food is better for us.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - David Miliband, described organic food as "a lifestyle choice". He insisted that food grown using pesticides and other chemicals should not be regarded as second best.

These comments came as a blow to the organic food industry. The organic food industry is very keen to get official recognition of the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic farming.
There has been many organic farmers etc that have hit back at Mr Miliband's comments. There are just a few examples:

Robin Maynard, Campaigns Director for the Soil Association has said, it has been shown over a number of years that there is a difference between organic food and farming, and commercial food and farming.
Although Mr Maynard has pointed out there is a lack of studies in this area, but that doesn't mean there is no difference. However there is research to prove that the vitamin C content in organic food compared with commercial food is higher. Also recent research into organic milk has shown that it contains more omega 3.

Secretary of the Shetland Organic Producers Group - Pete Glanville, farms sheep and vegetables has said that it is important to look at the content of the food we eat.

The organic food producers who belong to the Shetland Organic Producers Group, want to grow and rear food which contains no hidden chemicals that may be harmful.

You just have to look at the list of chemicals and pesticides that are used in commercial/industrial farming, to know that it is better to eat food without these added chemicals.

However, Peter Kendall - president of the National Farmer's Union, said that there is no evidence to prove organic food is any healthier.

MY OPINION: There are many arguments for and against organic food. My advise is to read the official research and reports, and make your own mind up!!


Organic Farmers etc Reply to Doubt Cast by Minister - 8th January 2007

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - David Miliband, has recently been quoted saying that we shouldn't class non-organic food as second best.

In reply to this opinion the organic food industry condemned his views as "patronizing" to consumers and "insulting" to organic farmers. The Soil Associations director Patrick Holden said, "I actually think it is rather sad because it suggests that David Miliband is profoundly ignorant of the benefits that are motivating people to buy organic food. The industry has grown without the support of the government and we thought we finally had it on our side. I find it amazing the minister is being so dismissive." Asked about the benefits claimed for organic food, Mr Miliband said: "It's a lifestyle choice that people can make. There isn't any conclusive evidence either way."

Peter Melchett, also of the Soil Association, said: "Half the baby food market is organic. This isn't just posh people making lifestyle choices. It's about people being worried about the quality of the food they give their babies and worried about the use of pesticides and antibiotics."

Mr Millband has told the Sunday Times, "It's only 4% of total farm produce, not 40%, and I would not want to say that 96% of our farm produce is inferior because it's not organic." He added that although the rise in organics is exciting, ordinary food should not be classed as "second best".

The sales of organic food have risen in recent years, a total of 30% in 2005 compared to the previous year. Organic farmers use what the Soil Association calls a "balanced, living soil" and severely restrict the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

John Barrow, founder of the Organic Delivery Company, said he disagreed with Mr Miliband. "I think the general public also disagree, going by the number of new customers we have every week.

"It's not only the taste of organic products but the environmental benefits and health benefits too. It is not a lifestyle choice, there are health issues involved. I discovered organic food about 15 years ago when I had a chronic illness and went to an alternative health practitioner. I told him I was a vegetarian and he said 'but your diet's wrong, you are not eating organic food'.

"He said I should eat food that is grown in harmony with the planet and the seasons. I did and within a month, my problem had gone."

The Food Standards Agency has argued that there is no real difference between organic and intensivley farmed food. However, a new study has shown that one pint of organic milk has more Omega 3 fatty acids, which are vital for normal brain functioning, than conventual milk.

Organic News Pages - Archives


Organic News Page 1:

Urgent Talks Regarding Global Food Costs

UK CO2 Emissions Rise Faster Than EU Average

Fairtrade Shopping Revolution in the UK

Organic News Page 2:

Organic Bread

Ethical Air Freight of Organic Food

Organic News Page 3:

Soil Association Organic Market Report - Organic Food Sales Soar

 

Organic News Page 4:

The Soil Association Organic Food Festival

Organic Awards - Winners Announced

Organic Milk and Cheese Sales Rise

Organic News Page 5:

Is it on the Label?

M&S Turning Green

Organic News Page 6:

Opinion Split over Organic Food

Organic Farmers etc Reply to Doubt Cast by Minister

Organic News Page 7:

Ethical Spending (eg. Organic Food) is at an all Time High!! And has beaten Beer & Cigarette Sales!!

Organic News Page 8:

Devon - Voted The No. 1 Organic County!

Soil Association at the National Fruit Show

Organic News Page 9:

Launch of New Similac Organic Formula Milk for Infants

Supermarkets - Organic Friend or Foe?

Organic News Page 10:

The Importance of Locally Produced Food

So What's in a Name? - soorganic.co.uk tries to fight leading brand for name...

Organic Food Growing Market

Organic News Page 11:

Have an Organic Valentines Day

Organic Food Catching On

Raising Awareness of Organic Food

Organic News Page 12:

Mothers and Babies - why you should eat organic

Local Farmers Markets Boom & Organic Food Sales Grows by £2.3 Million a Week!

Organic News Page 1:

Organic Bread

Ethical Air Freight of Organic Food

Organic News Page 2:

Soil Association Organic Market Report

Organic Food Sales Soar

Organic News Page 3:

The Soil Association Organic Food Festival

Organic Awards - Winners Announced

Organic Milk and Cheese Sales Rise

 

Organic News Page 4:

Is it on the Label?

M&S Turning Green

 

Organic News Page 5:

Opinion Split over Organic Food

Organic Farmers etc Reply to Doubt Cast by Minister

 

Organic News Page 6:

Ethical Spending (eg. Organic Food) is at an all Time High!! And has beaten Beer & Cigarette Sales!!

 

Organic News Page 7:

Devon - Voted The No. 1 Organic County!

Soil Association at the National Fruit Show

 

Organic News Page 8:

Launch of New Similac Organic Formula Milk for Infants

Supermarkets - Organic Friend or Foe?

 

Organic News Page 9:

The Importance of Locally Produced Food

So What's in a Name? - soorganic.co.uk tries to fight leading brand for name...

Organic Food Growing Market

 

Organic News Page 10:

Have an Organic Valentines Day

Organic Food Catching On

Raising Awareness of Organic Food

Organic News Page 11:

Mothers and Babies - why you should eat organic

Local Farmers Markets Boom & Organic Food Sales Grows by £2.3 Million a Week!

 

 

 

 

 

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