Organic controversy continues

The U.S. based Organic Consumers Association has denounced a July 28th report from Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) as “faulty and misleading.” The FSA report alleges that there is no substantial difference in nutritional content between organic and conventional food. The report, however, ignores the well-documented health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming, as well as the growing body of evidence that demonstrates organic food’s nutritional superiority, the OSA says in a release.

The FSA report, completed by Dr. Alan Dangour of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was based on the review of 50 years worth of research papers on the subject. Nonetheless, the report was methodologically flawed, ignored recent nutritional science studies, and appears to be based on politics rather than science, the OCA release says. 

The OCA claims the membership of the FSA is weighted in favour of agri-business with its chairman John Krebs on the record as supporting genetically modified crops. 

“The FSA study pointedly ignored the growing body of research that demonstrates organic foods nutritional superiority to conventional foods. Most recently, a rigorous study commissioned by The Organic Center establishes that organic foods are on average nutritionally superior, with greater concentrations of antioxidants, vitamins and total protein,” the OCA says. 

It says organic foods also reduce human exposure to dangerous pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic hormones and other contaminants in the food system, citing its own research, which can be found at:  (http://organicconsumers.org/organic/wic-faq.pdf)

“This misleading and flawed report ignores the numerous health, environmental and economic advantages of organic food versus conventional food, said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the Organic Consumers Association. “Organic farming is a truly sustainable and viable solution to the public health, environmental and climate crisis we are facing,” concluded Cummins. 

Meanwhile, a former organic inspector and self-proclaimed whistle-blower on fraud in the organic industry, says the organic industry must be subjected to unannounced field inspections.

“Imagine if Olympic inspectors called ahead to see if it was all right to drop by to collect a sample and allowed their schedule to be dictated by the athlete,” said Mischa Popoff in a letter to the Winnipeg Free Press. “That’s how the multibillion-dollar organic industry runs. It is an honour-based free-for-all.” 

Mischa said honest organic farmers are being driven from the business because they are unable to compete with cheap, untested ‘organic’ imports that account for about 90 per cent of the organic market. He said regulations without adequate enforcement are useless. 

 

About the author

Glacier FarmMedia Feed

GFM Network News

Glacier FarmMedia, a division of Glacier Media, is Canada's largest publisher of agricultural news in print and online.

explore

Stories from our other publications