Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Organic food benefits downplayed

By Paula Fentiman, Press Association

"But they added: "There is no good evidence that increased dietary intake of the nutrients identified in this review to be present in larger amounts in organically than in conventionally produced crops and livestock products would be of benefit to individuals consuming a normal varied diet, and it is therefore unlikely that these differences in nutrient content are relevant to consumer health." "

So even though there were higher levels of nutrients in organic food the conclusion is that these higher levels of nutrients will not benefit the consumer. That's crazy talk.

Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association, said: "We are disappointed in the conclusions the researchers have reached. The review rejected almost all of the existing studies of comparisons between organic and non-organic nutritional differences.

This was because these studies did not meet particular criteria fixed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which carried out the review. Although the researchers say that the differences between organic and non-organic food are not 'important', due to the relatively few studies, they report in their analysis that there are higher levels of beneficial nutrients in organic compared to non-organic foods."

He also expressed the Soil Association's disappointment that results of a European Union-funded study were not included. There are limited studies available on the health benefits of organic versus non-organic food. Without large-scale, longitudinal research, it is difficult to come to far-reaching clear conclusions on this, which was acknowledged by the authors of the FSA review.

"Also, there is not sufficient research on the long-term effects of pesticides on human health.

"Organic farming and food systems are holistic, and are produced to work with nature rather than to rely on oil-based inputs such as fertilisers."

For me the main point of organic food was always the environmental benefits. So even if a study such as this does point to nutritional benefits, it's missing the point.

Francis Sedgemore's opinion.

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